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OPTICAL AND HEARING
The all-new Mitsubishi 380 VRX
29th September, 2005
Mitsubishi’s sporty and powerful, all-new large sedan – the front-wheel drive Mitsubishi 380 – has been launched.
A result of the most exhaustive research ever undertaken by Mitsubishi Motors Ausralia Limited (MMAL), the 380 has been designed with two clear goals in mind - to be the best quality car ever built in Australia, and to redefine large car agility by designing a car for Australians.
Mitsubishi has undertaken a massive investment programme of over $600 million,
and has undertaken exhaustive engineering and testing here and overseas. This,
coupled with the use of worldwide expertise both within the global Mitsubishi
group and world best practice suppliers from around the globe, has seen the
development of a new large car that truly reflects the needs of the Australian
buying public. These needs are best categorised under the following five main
(1) True large car power and performance
The 3.8 litre engine has been specifically developed to provide the power and torque demanded by Australian drivers – be it for covering the long distances between remote towns effortlessly, or for towing loads – and uses a number of components developed for the Ralliart Magna in early 2002. It is the first Australian manufactured car to be Euro3 compliant, and it also meets the new, more stringent drive-by noise regulations.
The engine management system uses an innovative “torque demand” system that was collaboratively developed between Mitsubishi and Robert Bosch and extensively tested in Australia, Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
The front suspension cross member is low and flat, but rigid and light, to allow the steering rack and tie rods to be close to the plane of the lower control arms to reduce bump steer and improve directional stability.
The rear suspension is a sophisticated low-mount, multi-link arrangement. The low profile positioning of the entire rear suspension – with its strategic location of coil springs, shock absorbers and links, and reduced mounting point height – helps to liberate more trunk space.
The rigid body that has twice the bending and torsional stiffness of Mitsubishi’s previous benchmark – the result mainly of refined structural design, a one-piece body side and assembly using the ‘Toy Tabs’ method – is the perfect platform to allow optimum tuning of the suspension components.
Transmissions are five-speed fully synchronised manual especially developed for the torque of the large six-cylinder engine, and a five-speed INVECS II ‘Smart Logic’ automatic with ‘Sports Mode’ sequential mode available across the range.
MMAL is the only local manufacturer to offer a 5-speed automatic transmission in its base model, and the extra ratio results in smoother driving, improved performance and fuel economy.
Braking is provided by a large and specially developed braking package utilising Mitsubishi’s extensive rally experience. The front discs are 294 mm diameter ventilated discs with 2-pot calipers, while the rear are 284 mm diameter ventilated discs with 1-pot calipers. ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) optimises braking effort between front and rear, regardless of loading conditions and gentle or emergency stops. The brakes provide the driver with confidence for fade-free and sure stops over many applications.
The 380 uses 16” X 6.5” steel wheels fitted with 215/60R16 95H steel belted radials and full sized wheel covers.
The luxury LS variant comes with 16” X 6.5” six-spoke alloys fitted with 215/60R16 95H steel belted radials as standard, while the LX comes with a 17” X 7” six-spoke alloy wheel option that is fitted with 215/55R17 93V steel belted radials and sports suspension.
The sports variants – the VRX and GT – come fitted with 17” X 7” alloy wheels fitted with 215/55R17 93V steel belted radials. The VRX alloys are six-spoke, while the GT has unique eight-spoke alloys.
The rear underfloor of the Mitsubishi 380 has been specifically designed for Australia to take a full size spare wheel - which is stored under the cargo board - and serious towing equipment.
Based on the American Galant, Mitsubishi re-engineered or re-designed 70% of the donor car to make sure that it fitted the needs of Australian motorists. This included completely making over the body to give extra strength and safety, and allow it to take the forces of a weight distribution hitch for towing.
(2) Sporty exterior styling
The four-door sedan has a coupe-like sporty style that gives the impression that the car is moving forwards even when it is standing still. The frontal treatment of the car is unique to Australia with new bonnet, front guards, grille and bumpers being designed for the Australian car. There are two treatments within the model range – one for the standard and luxury models 380 LS and LX, and one for the sporty and sporty luxury models (VRX and GT).
The grille for the standard/luxury models (380, LS and LX) has a three-bar horizontal treatment with the bright Mitsubishi three diamonds symbol floating in the middle. The luxury variant has bright barsgarnish to distinguish it. A character line is picked up from the point of the symbol and runs through the centre of the bonnet.
The under grille picks up the same shape as the main grille, and the luxury variants (LS and LX) have fog lamps in the lower bumper area.
The sporty and sporty/luxury variants (VRX and GT) use a mesh grille insert with the floating bright three diamond symbol, while the front bumper has a more aggressive appearance with a mesh lower grille insert and fog lamps as standard.
The headlamps are a modern triangular multi-parabola design with softer, rounded sides to blend with the overall frontal appearance. The enclosure contains the low and high beam lamps and the turning indicator.
The rear view of the car is distinguished by its gracefully tapering C-pillar and short rear deck that gives the 380 its sporty coupe looks, and belies the vehicle’s actual size.
The 380 is also characterised by the strong shoulder lines that start just aft of the A-pillars and continue the length of the vehicle. Viewed from the side, these shoulder lines flow upward toward the rear and help to create a sense of forward motion.
The 380, LS and LX models have the same rear tail lamp treatment, standard trunk lid with high mounted stop lamp fitted in the upper edge of the trunk lid, and rear bumper design. The VRX and GT variants have clear-type rear stop lamps and an integrated rear lip spoiler with high mounted stop lamp fitted in the spoiler. A unique, deeper rear bumper with a garnish insert is used on these models, with a large, oval chrome exhaust outlet for a more aggressive but sporty appearance.
The model line badging is fitted under the right tail lamp.
There is an exciting colour palette for the new 380 models. Of the nine colours, seven are new and include Mawson White, Platinum (silver), Vision (beige), Adrenaline (gold), Molten (3 coat red), Electro (bright blue), Blue Steel (dark blue), Storm (dark grey), and Stealth (black). Each variant is available in six colours, with individual character colours being available within each range. Cutting-edge paint technology has been used to enhance the bold, angular lines of the car.
Inside, there is a different treatment for each price line.
The 380 has a black/black interior treatment with a modern, sophisticated interior ambience. The highlight panels feature a titanium-look.
The LS and LX models feature a black/beige treatment with woodgrain print highlight panels. The LS has cloth trim, while the LX has a stippled leather trim.
The sporty VRX has a black/black interior with silver mesh technical-look highlight panels, and sports-style seats. The top-of-the-line GT has a black/black interior with black woodgrain print highlight panels, and black leather sports seats.
The instrument cluster has full instrumentation with a sporty appearance and at night the gauges, interior control knobs and switches are illuminated with striking ice-blue LED lamps that create a sophisticated and co-ordinated interior ambience.
(3) Outstanding value for money
Power driver’s seats are standard across the range. The 380 standard model has a 4-way power driver’s seat, while the VRX and LS have a 6-way power driver’s seat as standard. 380 GT and 380 LX have a 10-way power memory driver’s seat, and 6-way passenger’s seat as standard. They are optional on the LS model.
Other standard equipment includes remote keyless central locking with panic mode, engine immobiliser, power windows on all doors, power exterior mirrors, height adjustable power steering, EZ KOOL UV glass on all side and rear windows, and integrated radio antenna in the rear window.
The 10-function trip computer is housed in the instrument cluster, and allows the driver to check average speed, instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, total fuel used, range to empty, travel time, total distance travelled, as well as also having a speed alert, rest reminder and service reminder.
Bluetooth capability is available across the entire 380 range. It is fitted as standard equipment on the 380 GT model and as a dealer fitted accessory on the 380, VRX, LS and LX models.
The 380 is packed with ample storage space, and with large front door pockets, 2 front and 2 rear cup holders, an ample glove box and convenient sunglasses holder, to always provide drivers with a storage location for everyday items.
The boot of the 380 employs a newly designed hinge, with gas springs for easy opening. The hinges do not intrude into the cargo area, thereby allowing maximum use of the boot space without any risk of luggage damage.
The high performance braking system improves 380’s stopping distance by 14%, and all of the foot pedals break away in the event of an accident to limit lower limb injury.
(4) Large car space and comfort
Its body system, BOS suspension and noise supression materials all combine to provide superior ride comfort and noise and vibration levels not normally seen in Australian made cars.
(5) World class quality and refinement
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