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Sydney show: Mitsubishi specials are go

Sunny days ahead: The Lancer Cabriolet is available now.

Last year we saw the concepts, this year Mitsubishi is showing us the real thing

11 Oct 2001

THE star cars on Mitsubishi's Sydney show stand may look familiar to anyone who visited last year, but in the intervening 12 months they have gone from concept to production - or close to it.

Leading the way is a yellow Lancer Cabriolet, which has been modified by Advanced Vehicle Engineering International in suburban Melbourne The manual Lancer Cabriolet as displayed will cost $32,990, and can be ordered immediately. The conversion carries the same three-year/100,000km warranty as the host car.

The production version of the Magna Sports Wagon also broke cover in Sydney. Mitsubishi said it is expected to sell in relatively small numbers when it goes on sale at the end of October.

It uses the same 163kW engine and five-speed manual or tiptronic-style automatic drivetrain as the Sports and VR-X sedans. The auto version as displayed will cost $39,990.

The red Ralliart Magna show car from 2000 returned in pre-production guise this year. Development of the car is continuing with its launch expected early in 2002. Although not determined at this time, pricing is expected to be approximately $50,000, and will be finalised when the development and specification is complete.

Mitsubishi also revealed an upgraded Pajero iO compact four-wheel drive, with the 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre four-cylinder engines replaced across the board by a 2.0-litre unit. The 4G94 powerplant is developed from the 1.8 and the increase in capacity has been achieved by increasing both the bore and the stroke.

The engine develops 95kW of power at 5500 rpm and 177Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. This is a 27 per cent increase in power and 31 per cent increase in torque for the 1.6-litre three-door, and 10 per cent and seven per cent increase respectively for the 1.8-litre five-door wagon.

As well as an increase in power, iO has also received some cosmetic changes which include new-design body-coloured front and rear bumpers, grille and redesigned bonnet.

In November a limited edition "ZR" model will be introduced with body-coloured doorhandles and mirrors, round front foglights, dual airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes, keyless entry (three-door), rear roof spoiler, roof rails and spare wheel cover.

All models receive a security coded AM/FM radio/ single CD audio unit, and Electronic Brake Distribution if fitted with ABS.

Pricing starts at $26,990 for the five-speed manual three-door, climbing to $29,690 for the ZR version. In five-door body style, pricing starts at $29,990 for the manual and $32,690 for the ZR. In automatic five-door form the standard car retails for $31,990, while the ZR is $34,690.

* The Eclipse Coupe, which appears in Mitsubishi's Australian corporate advertising campaign, is being shown in Sydney to gauge public opinion.

The car is currently only manufactured in left-hand drive for the American market, but Mitsubishi Motors Australia has imported a silver Eclipse GT for evaluation. MMAL intends to investigate the cost and ease of conversion to right-hand drive, before making a decision whether it is feasible to import the car.

Evaluation of the car will commence after the conclusion of the motor show, and is expected to take some time.

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