• Mitsubishi begins taking orders for Lancer Evolution FInal Edition in Japan

    April 13, 2015

    Mitsubishi Motors began taking Japanese market orders for the Lancer Evolution Final Edition on Friday.

    The special edition will commemorate 10 generations of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive sedan before the production ceases for good. Mitsubishi will produce 1,000 Final Editions, which will feature unique trim and some suspension modifications, but not the 480hp powerplant that was shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year.

    Instead, the Final Editon will feature a dark chrome front grille with a gloss black bumper bar and hood vent surrounds, color coordinated with 18-inch BBS wheels. The roof panel will be offered in two colors, white or black, which can be matched with one of five body colors — red, white, gray, black and blue. Cabin-wise, the Recaro bucket seats, steering wheel, shift knob, parking brake handle and console lid will all be black leather with red-stitching.

    The 2.0L turbo mill will see the addition of sodium-filled exhaust valves, which Mitsubishi says will improve output at medium and high engine speeds, but if that translates to bigger numbers the company did not say. The suspension, on the other hand, is upgraded with Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs and Brembo two-piece ventilated front brakes discs, all rolling on high-performance tires.

    Lastly, a “Final Edition” emblem will be mounted to the trunk, and the same logo will be shown on the multifunction display upon startup. A serial numbered plaque on the console will identify each of the 1,000 cars. The list price is $33,118 at current exchange rates and the car goes on sale in August. It is unknown when a US counterpart may arrive.

  • Mazda shows production-bound Demio Motor Sports concept

    April 13, 2015

    Mazda has revealed a competition concept of the Demio at the 2015 Motor Sport Japan event, a racing festival in Tokyo.

    Mazda has racing intentions with the latest generation Demio, which won Car of the Year Japan last year and is soon to be sold as the Mazda2 in the US. The Demio Motor Sports Concept is a blank canvas for privateers and race teams who would like to compete in gymkhana, dirt trial, or rally type events.

    It is equipped with a petrol-powered 1.5L SkyActiv-G inline-four, the engine that will arrive with the US-spec Mazda2 and recently rated at 42 mpg, but which is unusual for a Japanese spec Demio. That car comes stock with either a 1.3L gasoline engine or a 1.5L diesel. The larger engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and the car is fitted with bigger brakes.

    The Demio Motor Sports Concept also adds visual flair with a black chin spoiler and rocker panel aero skirts. The rear hatch gains a spoiler above the rear window. Gray, red and black Mazdaspeed graphics extend across its flanks and lower side sills.

    A production version of the Demio Motor Sports Concept was announced with an fall 2015 on-sale date.

  • VW-owned Skoda reveals Fabia R 5 race car

    April 13, 2015
    Volkswagen’s Czech Republic-based Škoda division has introduced a new race car called Fabia R 5. The R 5 was designed to replace the highly-successful Fabia Super 2000 that has been tearing up race tracks all over the globe for the past couple of years.
    The hatchback is a Fabia in name only. Visually, it benefits from a long list of aerodynamic add-ons including a lip spoiler that is seemingly riveted to the front bumper, fender flares, side skirts and a sizable spoiler out back. A large air dam integrated into the front bumper and twin vents cut into the hood have been added to help cool the engine.

    Interior pictures were not published but Škoda promises the Fabia R 5 gets a full roll cage, a pair of bucket seats and a race-specific instrumentation. The cockpit has been totally stripped in order to shed as much weight as possible, but Škoda points out that FIA regulations dictate the car must tip the scale at over 2,711 pounds.

    Following the sanctioning body’s latest round of regulations, the Fabia R 5 is powered by a downsized turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that spins all four wheels via a five-speed sequential gearbox. Škoda has not revealed how much power the turbo four pumps out.

    The Škoda Fabia R 5 has been homologated by the FIA, meaning that it is ready to go racing. Interested teams and privateers will be able to purchased the Czech company’s newest race car before the end of the year.

  • China’s Qoros teases Shanghai-bound 2 SUV

    April 13, 2015
    Ambitious Chinese startup Qoros has published a teaser sketch that previews a new high-riding model named simply 2. The young company’s first-ever SUV will greet the public for the first time at the Shanghai Motor Show that will open its doors in a little over a week.
    The sketch reveals the 2 gets a bold silhouette characterized by a tall front end, a high belt line and a rakish A-pillar. The rear end is fitted with boomerang-shaped tail lamps and a small roof-mounted spoiler that adds a touch of sportiness to the overall look.

    Qoros’ earlier models were penned by ex-MINI designer Gert Volker Hilderbrand, but the company has not revealed who designed the SUV.

    Although technical details have not been published, enthusiast website WorldCarFans speculates the 2 could be powered by a new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower. Front-wheel drive will likely come standard, and all-wheel drive will be available at an extra cost.

    Qoros will fully unveil the 2 online in the coming days. After debuting in Shanghai, the SUV will go on sale across China in the fourth quarter of this year.

    The Qoros brand was launched at the 2013 edition of the Geneva Motor Show, and the company has been trying to sell its cars in Europe ever since but it has largely failed. However, if it manages to set up shop on the Old Continent in the near future the 2 SUV stands a good chance of being added to its lineup.