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Mitsubishi V6 to pack a punch

Size counts: The 6G-75 3.8-litre V6 will rival Ford's and Holden's efforts.

The Magna replacement is upping its engine displacement

13 May 2005

MITSUBISHI will throw down the gauntlet to Holden and Ford in the power stakes when its Magna replacement hits the road in October.

Mitsubishi Australia is confident its new four-valve, single overhead camshaft 3.8-litre V6 – codenamed 6G-75 – will offer comparable, if not better, performance than Holden’s base Alloytec V6 and Ford’s in-line six without resorting to variable valve timing, variable intake manifold or double overhead camshafts.

However, the engine can support these high-tech features to squeeze more power and torque for an expected higher-performance model down the track.

The current engine offers two states of tune but it is anticipated the new engine will initially offer the same performance levels across the range, which will include base, sports and luxury models.

Mitsubishi Australia’s research and development general manager, Lee Kernich, admitted there was "lots of potential still” for further engine development. However, he said absolute power and torque figures were still to be finalised.

"We’ve done a lot of development and certification testing and where the numbers will finally come out we don’t really know – and we’re not prepared to say yet," Mr Kernich said.

"We think that the most important things for the market are size and output, and the size and output of this engine will leave potential buyers in no doubt about where this car is positioned.

"We can reveal that over 300Nm of torque is developed from as low as 1500rpm all the way to 5500rpm and that the engine is so well managed that it’s possible with the manual transmission in fifth gear to gently engage the clutch and drive away from rest without the application of the accelerator pedal... without any stall, snatch or hesitation," he said.

Power and torque on the Mitsubishi’s new V6 could comfortably exceed Holden’s base 3.6-litre Alloytec V6, which develops 175kW/320Nm, and compare favourably with Ford’s 182kW/380Nm on its 4.0-litre Barra twin-cam six cylinder.

In the current car, the base 155kW/316Nm version of the 3.5-litre SOHC 24-valve V6 is standard on Magna ES and LS and Verada Ei and Xi models. Magna VR, VR-X and Verada GTVi get the higher-output 163kW/317Nm version, while the dedicated LPG ES and LS versions produce 143Nm and 296Nm.

The new engine is a total redesign of the current 3.5-litre V6 but based on the 3.8-litre engine used in the United States Galant model, albeit with many unique hardware details and a different Bosch-developed engine management system. Mitsubishi says no turbocharged model is planned.

Although sharing architecture, a claimed 80 per cent of the engine has been reworked, and improved, for local conditions and demands for a high-output six-cylinder delivering a wide performance range and good fuel economy. It boasts a new cast-iron block, crankshaft, pistons, heads, drive-by-wire electronic throttle and stainless steel exhaust system.

The 3.8-litre also employs Ralliart camshafts, toughened valve springs and crankshafts and has an improved intake system that is 12 per cent better than the US Galant.

The new 6G-75 Magna engine is expected to offer similar fuel economy to the current engine but is slightly heavier and costs more to build. Like the current engine, it will also be LPG compatible. It will be sourced from a Mitsubishi engine plant in Kyoto, Japan.

The Bosch engine management system, which has a limp-home mode, will allow the car to perform on either regular unleaded or PULP. The Magna will also be the first locally built Mitsubishi to use a control area network (CAN) to multiplex all major electronic controls.

Emission demands have been met by Euro III compatibility and Mitsubishi believes the V6 will also meet Euro IV demands.

Attention has also been paid to specific engine noise. Although it is expected to deliver a muscular engine note, sound damping, including an acoustic-lined valve cover, have quelled drive-by noise and helped reduce interior noise levels.

Mitsubishi has spent 10,000 hours dyno testing the engine and apart from Australia, has also tested it in real-world hot and cold weather conditions in Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

The new car, codenamed PS41, is a $600 million make-or-break investment for Mitsubishi’s Adelaide operations. Mitsubishi is currently in the final stages of prototype testing.

21 center imageMr Kernich (left) said the car would help "bridge" the car between the sportiness of vehicles like the Honda Accord Euro and the Mazda6 fours and the power and performance of the Falcon and Holden sixes.

"PS-41 will be a bridge over these two groups, matching and exceeding the required styling and sportiness of the respected imports and offering the size, value for money and an engine that will have the numbers to position it firmly among the big boys," he said.

Apart from a five-speed manual, the new V6 will be mated to a new five-speed automatic with a sequential manual mode.

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