Mitsubishi Concept CT at NAIAS
SHOP ON-LINE AT
OPTICAL AND HEARING
NEWS ON RADIO
on this page,
12th January, 2006
Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) unveiled at the North American International Auto Show the Concept-CT, a groundbreaking concept for a hybrid-powered small car that may influence development of future “Driven to Thrill” Mitsubishi models.
Designed at the Mitsubishi Motors Design Centre in Cypress, California, the Concept-CT introduces an innovative hybrid powertrain packaged in an entirely new type of vehicle architecture. The ultra-compact four-door hatchback captures the essence of the Mitsubishi brand while combining practicality, fun-to-drive performance and low fuel consumption.
The key to the Concept-CT’s roomy packaging, performance potential and fuel efficiency is the Mitsubishi In-wheel Electric Vehicle (MIEV) hybrid powertrain, which employs an electric motor in each of the vehicle’s four wheels.
“The Concept-CT is a breakthrough vehicle that demonstrates how Mitsubishi might interpret its ‘Driven to Thrill’ core philosophy with the increasing demands for higher fuel efficiency and environmental compatibility,” said MMNA President and CEO Rich Gilligan. “We are carefully studying ideas showcased in this innovative concept car.”
Mitsubishi Signature Design With An Accent on the Future
The Concept-CT’s 102.4-inch wheelbase falls between today’s sub-compact and compact models. However, the 149.6-inch length makes the Concept-CT even better suited to congested urban environments. The long wheelbase relative to vehicle length, combined with 20-inch wheels that are thrust out to the corners, yields a stable, forceful stance while maximising interior space. Candy yellow-orange paint, with copper and grey accents, underscores the Concept-CT’s advanced powertrain and overall futuristic orientation.
Unique design elements combine high-tech style with function. The LED head lamps and tail lamps are designed to appear as if their light emanates from a single source rather than multiple bulbs. A large, wraparound panoramic windshield provides excellent front visibility.
The rear doors open butterfly-style without a centre pillar to provide maximum interior access. Also contributing to the design’s practicality, the rear hatch is split horizontally, featuring an upper glass hatch and a lower tail gate for ease of loading.
New Vehicle Architecture Shows Future Possibilities for Small
With room freed up by the lack of a centre differential, driveshaft to the front and front-wheel halfshafts, designers were able to locate vital components to optimise both safety and weight distribution. The rear-midship layout allows for a large frontal crush zone and greatly reduces the potential for engine intrusion into the cabin in a collision. Batteries are housed under the rear floor and in the front of the vehicle. The fuel tank is housed under the front floor.
MIEV Powertrain Hints at High-Tech Mitsubishi Future
The MIEV system provides both economical cruising capability and high capacity power for short bursts of acceleration when needed. A regenerative brake system captures energy that would otherwise be lost as heat through the brake discs and channels it to the batteries.
Each of the Concept-CT’s wheels houses an electric motor, effectively providing computer-controlled all-wheel drive (AWD) that can transfer optimal traction independently to each tyre as needed. Such individual wheel control opens up new possibilities to enhance vehicle stability and performance.
In addition to a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain featured in the Concept-CT, MIEV technology can be applied to pure battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles to suit a wide variety of world market needs and infrastructures in the future. Mitsubishi is testing a MIEV powertrain in the Lancer Evo MIEV rally car acclaimed at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show as an environmentally conscious, high-performance vehicle.
Adventurous Yet Practical Interior
The Concept-CT instrument panel is unlike anything seen in current vehicles. A wide format “wall to wall” screen displays information for navigation, rear/side-view mirror functions, and entertainment functions (when in park). Flat-screen gauges are placed well forward of the driver for optimal visibility. In addition, a flat screen in the centre panel displays climate control and audio information. Reflecting Concept-CT’s futuristic theme, the ultra-thin centre console houses a fingerprint-reading security key and computer touch pad interface.
A flat floor and “floating” seats for four provide an open feeling and interior flexibility. The contoured bench-style seats are designed for superior support while providing ease of entry and egress. The front passenger seatback and rear seatbacks fold flat to carry long loads. Rear seat cushions fold up with the seatback in the upright position to load tall items through the side doors. Concept-CT provides additional storage under the front hood.
This concept provides a vision into the future of advanced hybrid technology in a fun and futuristic design. Mitsubishi Motors’ Lancer Evolution MIEV is currently undergoing testing in Japan – with a goal to bring a MIEV model, built around core technologies of in-wheel motors and high density lithium-ion batteries, to market by 2010.
Mitsubishi Concept-CT Major Specifications: