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Is Mitsubishi Ralliart Making a Comeback?

When the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was first revealed, there was a lot of backlash. Totally understandable, really. Mitsubishi Motors has pulled many of its sports cars out of the U.S., the Mitsubishi Eclipse amongst them, along with the Lancer and Lancer Evolution series. Some of the latter are still legends today. Teasing the revival of a rally car, only to reveal a crossover, was like salt on the wound, and the circulating artwork of a Lancer crossover isn’t helping. Talk of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) reviving Ralliart was reported recently by Forbes, and it feels like a rollercoaster all over again.

We can’t help but wonder if this comes from the recent auction for the last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition, sold in Europe for £100,100, or $121,000 USD. Mitsubishi Motors standing in Europe is currently confusing. The automaker is making its departure from the UK market, while simultaneously starting 2023 with two models produced by Groupe Renault but rebranded and restyled for Mitsubishi Motors. Only being released in selected markets in Europe, perhaps the automaker is looking for a cornerstone. After all, the press release from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was only two months ago (March 2021).

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Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Sharing Resources

Since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance formed, the new automotive group has had many interesting developments. Launching Alliance Ventures to partner with and invest in startups working on improved electric vehicle (EV) and autonomous car technology, the Alliance was on a fast track for success. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed everything down, but Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi held a virtual press conference in May to address business plans going forward. Based on recent news for the Alliance in 2021, a lot of cross-brand sharing is finally taking place.

Earlier on in 2020, Nissan presented a new electric vehicle platform available for use across all three brands. Designed to be flexible, the platform is able to change based on the size, style of its intended use, and perhaps hybrid or electric-augmented powertrains for vehicles that still run on internal combustion engines. In addition to this, a Renault is working on its own new E-body core system for electric-vehicle architecture, and Mitsubishi Motors is set to release the first new vehicle from the Alliance, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The thing with the Alliance, is that although Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are working together and sharing tech, each automaker is still in competition with the other.

Regardless of internal competition, the world may already be seeing the fruits of the cross-brand EV platform from Nissan with a mini EV car set to launch in Japan. Known over there as a “kei car”, it’s $18,400 with over 120 miles of range. We won’t be seeing it in the states, however, but this is just the beginning of two of the automakers finally sharing resources and producing something together. Another recent development announced a Nissan engine in the new Mitsubishi Outlander, and in April Renault and Mitsubishi surfaced with news about a rebadge.

A rebadge model means the vehicle comes from one automaker, changed up a bit, and gets the appropriate decal slapped on it. Mitsubishi will rebadge a Renault vehicle for its European lineup, two actually, to increase its presence and success in the market. These vehicles will have a better chance of making it to the states, with Renault no longer selling in America but Mitsubishi Motors is still present, alive and well. Although the two models have not yet been named, the Japanese automaker will be adopting and adapting at the very least the Renault Clio. It’s currently the best-selling vehicle in its segment and the second-best selling and all of Europe. With some restyling for the Mitsubishi brand and the new Dynamic Shield integrated into the front fascia, the untrained eye may not even notice that the vehicle is a rebadge.

With electric vehicles also on the way, Renault and Nissan are experimenting with sharing battery technology as well, mainly to save on costs by designing a uniform battery that all three automakers can use. At the moment, each automaker is acquiring materials and batteries in their own way. If the Alliance can agree on one EV battery, it will become the first automotive group to cross the threshold of a million cars sold on the same battery module.

We’ll know more soon enough. Keep up with the new developments from the Alliance when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Mitsubishi Electric Introduces All New Tech

Mitsubishi Electric has been a little quiet as of late. With the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of auto shows, the sister company of Mitsubishi Motors and part of Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) hasn’t had a chance to show off its tech. Now that the auto industry is back up and running, Mitsubishi Electric is lighting up with Project Emerald Dove, a premium in-vehicle cabin experience using the latest and most powerful computing platform to create a unique and intuitive experience for consumers using the Google Android OS, an artificially intelligent (AI) assistant, and new and interesting features. Check out what’s new from Mitsubishi Electric.

First off is some pretty cool stuff. With eight displays with various resolutions ranging from HD to 4k, the entire infotainment system is controlled via the Android OS – recalling a news piece on Mitsubishi and the Google Android back in 2018. Through collaboration, Mitsubishi Electric worked with an AI startup to develop a customized automotive AI assistant that can aid consumers with some basic automotive applications. A simple example – the engine light comes on. The driver can ask the AI assistant to address the problem and schedule a service appointment if an immediate fix is needed. A display at the center of the dashboard will provide visuals for the user as well as offer user/assistant interaction.

“We aim to be ahead of the trends in the industry…The Mitsubishi Electric technologies in this demonstration system have received very positive feedback from our customers and partners and we continue to work towards realizing creative, premium entertainment solutions.” – Mark Rakoski, vice president, Advanced Engineering, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America

Cool Features

Mitsubishi Electric is making it easier for Mitsubishi Motors consumers to make use of their vehicle in a multitude of ways. When used as a personal vehicle, the infotainment system becomes active throughout the cabin, giving access to all passengers. We did say eight displays, all with powerful computing and connectivity features through the cockpit platform. Passengers can browse personal music libraries, adjust the temperature of their zone in the cabin, and for those that like to play navigator, the two front displays can be linked together into one long monitor. Then, the front-passenger can collect navigation information and slide it onto the driver’s screen for upcoming directions and information.

The Android OS also helps with Mitsubishi consumers who use their vehicle also as a commercial vehicle, like ridesharing applications and food delivery. An external visor can be controlled to denote a ride-share or delivery service or when the vehicle is autonomous. Yes, self-driving functionality has also been hinted at. The driver can customize content on the display to better illustrate the service they are providing.

Mitsubishi Electric is also adding some helpful features for on and off the road. Although no parent should forget about their infant in the vehicle, an infant detection system has been installed for all rows. Continuing to hint at autonomous driving, an HD driving mode that can help the vehicle avoid lane blockage or heavy traffic, provide lane-level guidance, and report problems and road conditions. Lastly, Mitsubishi Electric has been working on cyber security.

Lots of cool stuff to talk about, finally. It’s been a while. Nice to see that Mitsubishi Electric is still working on some cool stuff for upcoming Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. Keep up with all the new tech coming from Mitsubishi Electric when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Auctions Off Lancer EVO VI TME Before Leaving UK Market

The last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition was just sold at an auction in Europe for £100,100. In terms of USD, that’s just under $121,000. It sounds a little absurd that someone would pay over $100,000 for an old sports sedan, but then again, back in 2016, someone spent $76,400 on a Mitsubishi-joint-eBay auction for the last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition. This one was also for the children, with all proceeds going to charity (Feeding America and Second Harvest Food Bank). We’re not sure if the same outcome happened this time around, but it’s a historic moment all the same. Not only did the Lancer EVO VI Tommi Makinen Edition (TME) set a record for the most expensive Mitsubishi ever sold at an auction, but it also marks the departure of Mitsubishi Motors from the UK market.

Wow, that’s a big one. Back in May 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared a new business strategy, along with previews at new and upcoming technology and concepts, with Mitsubishi Motors set as the first automaker in the bunch to release a new vehicle. Since then, we haven’t seen much aside from a Mitsubishi and Nissan mini electric vehicle project and the Mitsubishi Airtek concept, debuted at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. Each automaker in the Alliance will also be setting its sights on different regions to drive sales and pulling out of the UK market might be a part of this new strategy if Mitsubishi doesn’t fare well in parts of Europe.

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