Special Coverage

Frankfurt Auto Show

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. divulges details of its upcoming Euro5-compliant diesel engine in the form of the Concept-cX cross/utility vehicle, to be unveiled at the upcoming Frankfurt auto show next month.

The Japanese auto maker says it has decided to pull forward the production launch of its new clean diesel engines in Europe a full year, from 2010 to early 2009, to meet customer demand.

The Concept-cX, which Mitsubishi calls “a proposal for an accessible, affordable, sustainable and realistic solution to today’s pressing issues, while preserving authentic driving pleasure,” is powered by a 1.8L DOHC 4-cyl. clean diesel engine, making 134 hp at 4,000 rpm and 207 lb.-ft. (280 Nm) of torque at 2,000 rpm.

Mitsubishi utilizes a diesel particulate filter and diesel oxidation catalyst to cut emissions, while at the same time installing a variable geometry turbocharger to produce the most favorable boost pressure for all engine loads, the auto maker says.

In the Concept-cX, Mitsubishi has mated the diesel mill, co-developed with sister company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., to its twin clutch automated manual transmission, which promises sporty shifting sans clutch and will be used in the new Lancer Evolution sedan.

Other eco-friendly touches include the floor mats, door trim, and seat-back panels, which are “green plastics,” derived from bamboo and other plant-based resins that Mitsubishi say are proprietary.

The Concept-cX borrows styling cues from the new Lancer sedan, with a “Jet Fighter” grille, albeit oversized, and Mitsubishi’s “all-wheel-control” 4-wheel drivetrain derived from the Outlander CUV.

The Concept-cX is about 20 ins. (51 cm) shorter than the Outlander.

The Frankfurt concept car is wedge-shape with large wheel arches, a clamshell hood and deep-set headlamps. The side view showcases a prominent beltline, while the rear’s predominant feature is a “fast hatch” design, flanked by high-mount, rear-combination lamps and twin-stage split tailgate.

Further emphasizing an environmental slant is the vehicle’s color: a metallic medium blue with aluminum flecks to symbolize a “crystal-clear lake,” the auto maker says.

Unique interior features include a design that integrates the shifter, starter and some warning lights into the front bench seat.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com