With a long-standing tradition of pioneering technologies and a presence in 160+ world markets, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is rather well equipped to embrace the structural re-shaping affecting the global auto , whether geographical or environmental.
From the specific demands of the newly emerging markets (affordable, robust yet contemporary vehicles) to the renewed interest of mature areas (down-sized / lighter / more fuel-efficient automobiles), MMC has pragmatically committed its engineering resources to satisfy these new needs, as highlighted in its 'Jump 2013' business plan wîth clear targets (20% of EVs and PHEVs by 2020,...).
Covering a wide spectrum, MMC R&D is engaged in a multitude of alternative solutions such as:
- Global platforms:
o B-Segment Global Small (Space Star,…)
o C/D-Segment Project Global* (ASX**, New Outlander,...)
o Taking the Outlander crossover concept one notch below wîth the C-Segment ASX*
o Returning to the roots of the B-Segment wîth the clever 3710 mm long Space Star
- Weight reduction:
o Significant gains in all areas for the quieter, safer and better equipped New Outlander (about -100 kg max.) or Space Star (about – 120 kg vs. Colt)
- Fuel economy / Lower emissions:
o 'Auto Stop & Go' made available to a wider range of models and powertrains
o Continuing refinement of MMC's own highly efficient 4N13/4N14 Clean Diesel engines
o Further development of petrol engine architecture (new MIVEC engines available wîth New Outlander, Space Star,…)
- Alternative powertrains:
o Expansion of the Mitsubishi range of EVs
o Introduction of Mitsubishi's EV-based Plug-in Hybrid technology (New Outlander,...)Global coherence
Whilst the challenge of 'new frontier' technologies such as real-life PHEV might seem daunting, no less so is that of engineering a new generation of small cars, wîth all the constrains of this genre. More so if the said vehicle is meant to tackle ALL world markets, whether mature or emerging…Enters Space Star, MMC's new take at the small car sector – the GLOBAL small car sector.
The first product to be developed by MMC off its all-new and innovative 'Global Small' platform, Space Star can be summed up as:
• One architecture + one factory + one car for one open world.
• Not a MMC 'low cost' offering, but instead, a rational / no-nonsense product for a converging and fast growing global small car market:
– Emerging middle-class in emerging countries.
– Running cost conscious customers in mature regions.
• Global consistency through 'engineering-first' approach.Less is more
Taking into consideration the environmental (CO2 emissions) and financial (fuel economy and running costs) challenges global customers are now faced with, it became obvious for MMC R&D that the very concept of 'small car' had to be completely reviewed.
More so for the European market where the highly popular B-Segment has drifted away over the last 20 years from its fundamentals wîth over-specified and over-sized products, often similar what European C-Segment cars used to be…
At the same time, the point was neither for MMC to bring a cheap, de-contented product nor a 'low cost' vehicle – a rational / no-nonsense product it should be instead, wîth the expected quality and reliability Mitsubishi Motors is renown for*.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 1.0 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 70 hp
Torque: 65 ft-lbs
Engine : 1.2 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 79 hp
Torque: 78 ft-lbs
5-speed Manual, CVT
Short (3710 mm), light (from 845 kg), sleek (Cd: 0.27), efficient (4.0 l /100km**), clean (92 g/km**) and peppy (0-100 km/h in 13'6**), Space Star remains nonetheless roomy (1651 mm total legroom), comfortable (for 5 occupants) and nimble (short 4.6 m turning circle despite a wide 1665 mm body), whilst offering the level of comfort, equipment and safety expected nowadays.
**1.0 liter engine w/AS&G and 5M/T – combined EÚ cycle
Re-engineering the B-Segment
Following the same development philosophy as New Outlander, Space Star's 'engineering-first' approach translated into 'efficiency-first' solutions:
o Structural optimization, extensive use of high-tensile strength steel paneling, etc…result in a significant reduction in weight over A/B- and B-Segment average wîth a minimum of only 845 kg, making a major contribution to fuel economy, CO2 emissions and drivability.
o At the same time, MMC's patented RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body design combines an impact energy-absorbing front end wîth a high-rigidity cabin structure.
Improving on it for Space Star, Mitsubishi R&D added straight and large section front cross-members, so called 'Multi-load pass frame'. Together wîth a reinforced cabin, they contribute to better energy management in case of a front crash.
In the area of pedestrian safety, New Space Star will obviously comply wîth the new
EÚ regulations enforced from 2013, Furthermore, Space Star will offer 6 airbags (incl. side & curtain) as standard equipment
o Through CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis and wind tunnel testing, MMC
design team focused their efforts over aerodynamic performance, (from the clam-shell hood to the – new patent pending - tapered rear roofline), providing a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.27 – one of the lowest in its class, if not the lowest, to the benefit of fuel economy, emissions and drivability.
o Space Star's high-efficiency packaging keeps the engine compartment as compact as
possible to optimize occupant space. While smaller than conventional compact cars,
the body dimensions make it highly manoeuverable while providing good interior
space for five adults and sufficient luggage space for everyday use (interior length representing 65% of the overall length of the car – cargo volume from 235 l VDA measured).
o The front end design allows the driver to see both edges of the engine hood, making it easier to determine the positioning of the vehicle. Locating the A-pillars closer to the front occupants and starting the belt line low down at the front contributes to offer an excellent field of vision, both forward and to the side.
Together wîth a turning radius of just 4.6 m - among the smallest in its class - this packaging allows the driver to maneuver wîth confidence when turning at
intersections, driving along narrow roads or when parking.
o In Europe, Global Small/Space Star is powered by a new generation of lightweight
and compact low friction 3-cylinder petrol engines, available in either 1.0 l or 1.2 l displacements. Lively and thrifty, both use Mitsubishi Motors' MIVEC variable valve timing system (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system).
o Together wîth a painstaking reduction of engine friction and engine load as well as weight reduction, aerodynamic performance, transmission efficiency and MMC's low
CO2 technologies (see below), Mirage can boast high level of fuel economy and
emissions, amongst the best in the §egmènt:
Output Torque 0-100 km/h Fuel cons.
o As customary now wîth Mitsubishi Motors products in Europe, Space Star is equipped
(depending on market and model) wîth the full palette of low CO2 technologies, including:
- Auto Stop & Go,
- Regenerative braking system,
- High-efficiency 95 Ah alternator,
- Intelligent battery sensor ('IBS'),
- 165/65R14 low friction tires,
For Space Star, this package now also features a 3-bar 'Eco Drive Assist' display in the instrument cluster (depending on market and model) meant to gives a visual
indication of how economically the vehicle is being driven based on current fuel
consumption and vehicle speed.
o Last but not least, as an alternative to the standard 5-speed manual gearbox, Space Star can be fitted wîth the newest version of Mitsubishi's INVECS-III CVT wide-ratio transmission (depending on market and model) which now uses a sub-gear train to deliver a better acceleration and fuel economy. Extending the engine speed range over which the lockup clutch engages and optimization of transmission control has contributed to a further reduction in fuel consumption without affecting acceleration performance.
o Space Star's basic set up is MacPherson struts at the front wîth stabilizer bar and a torsion beam axle wîth coil springs at the rear, optimized to provide easy and stable handling, as well as a very comfortable ride. Streamlining the suspension configuration has reduced its weight, contributing to better fuel economy.
o For the sake of fuel economy, Mirage is equipped wîth a sharp electric powered rack & pinion §teering (3.48 turns, lock to lock).
o Braking system for Europe is courtesy of (depending on market and model):
- Powered front ventilated discs / rear drums,
- ABS + Active Stability Control + Traction Control + Brake Assist
- Hill Start Assist (CVT only) + Emergency Stop Signal SystemQuality seal
For a long time, Mitsubishi Motors has implemented processes and systems to ensure that very high levels of development and production quality are realized on a common basis at its production units around the world.
In the area of production, the 'Mitsubishi Motors Production Way' (MMPW) system is employed to achieve rigorous quality assurance at each of its production facilities through a 'station completion' process where only defect-free units are allowed to pass to the next work stationSource - Mitsubishi