DETROIT – Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Concept-RA coupe to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today goes against type, uniting performance with fuel-sipping green technologies.

These include a turbocharged diesel engine, common-rail direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and dual clutch gearbox.

The vehicle is constructed of low-weight, earth-friendly materials, such as an aluminum spaceframe, and recyclable plastic resin for the hood, fenders and outer panels.

The Concept-RA is motivated by a 2.2L DOHC 4-cyl. mill that produces 201 hp and 310 lb.-ft. (420 Nm) of torque.

To meet U.S. Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards, Mitsubishi employs catalyst technologies such as a diesel-oxidation catalyst, nitrogen-oxide trap catalyst and diesel-particulate filter.

The car also is equipped with the auto maker’s Super-All Wheel Control system with active center differential, active yaw control, sport antilock brakes and active stability control – the same package found on the new Lancer Evolution.

Mitsubishi is not saying whether the concept is the basis for a production model or possibly a glimpse at the next Eclipse. Auto makers typically leave four to five years between generations. However, Mitsubishi let six years lapse before updating the ’06 Eclipse coupe.

A new variant to the Lancer lineup, the Ralliart, also will be unveiled at the show today. Ranking between the base Lancer and Lancer Evolution, the car is equipped with a new 2.0L DOHC turbocharged 4-cyl. making 235 hp and mated to a dual-clutch transmission.

Fulltime 4-wheel drive is standard and features Mitsubishi’s Active Center Differential to vector torque to the front and rear wheels, depending on surface conditions.

Styling changes from the base Lancer include a more aggressive front bumper, a rear bumper cover, dual outlet muffler and an aluminum ducted hood to aid turbocharger cooling. Paddle shifters mounted on the steering column are a standard interior feature, as is a hands-free telephone interface.

Optional equipment includes Recaro seats, high-intensity discharge headlights and a 30-gigabyte hard-drive navigation system.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com