Mitsubishi Motors' HSR-VI Makes North American Debut

5 January 1998

Mitsubishi Motors' HSR-VI Makes North American Debut

    Concept Car Previews Automated Driving Technology for the Next Century

    DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Mitsubishi Motors has long been known for
its use of technology to create spirited and practical vehicles.  Perhaps the
ultimate representation of this philosophy, the automaker's HSR-VI concept car
is a rolling test bed of future technologies that will help keep vehicle
occupants safe, informed and comfortable.
    HSR-VI, the sixth generation of experimental concept cars which Mitsubishi
Motors has developed since 1987, was devised to work with hypothetical traffic
management systems of the future.  It incorporates two different driving modes
-- conventional and automated -- with additional technologies to maximize
safety, performance, environmental concern, and information exchange.

    Automated Driving Technology
    HSR-VI's on-board computer takes information obtained from traffic
control, along with laser radar and stereo-imaging sensors, to "drive" itself.
HSR-VI is programmed to automatically take the most efficient route to avoid
traffic jams, applying the brakes or moving to a clear traffic lane when an
obstacle is detected.
    In the automated driving mode, HSR-VI drops to its lowest position, giving
the car an overall height of just over four feet to improve aerodynamics and
efficiency.  In this position, HSR-VI's seats recline and the driving controls
retract into the instrument panel, allowing its occupants additional comfort
and room.  Passengers can also use the HSR-VI's communication system to make
phone calls, catch up with the news, send E-mail and browse the Internet.

    Conventional Driving Pleasure
    If the driver chooses, HSR-VI can be driven conventionally.  The interior
raises by approximately one foot to give the driver a panoramic view of the
road similar to that of a sport utility vehicle.  Yet, the accident avoidance
technology that allows HSR-VI to operate in its automated mode remains
functional.  For example, if the driver enters a one-way street, exceeds the
speed limit or fails to slow down at a stop light, HSR-VI will display a
warning, sound an alarm and automatically apply the brakes.
    In lieu of conventional pedals, the HSR-VI is operated entirely by the
steering wheel.  Shaped like an airplane flight stick, the steering wheel
incorporates the accelerator and brake levers, allowing precise and minute
handling.
    To keep distractions to the driver at a minimum, the instrument panel
displays only information which is necessary at any given time, and the
climate controls and audio system are designed to be used with minimal
interaction by the driver.  If these systems determine that the driver is
unfamiliar with the controls, instructions are automatically displayed.

    Advanced Safety Technology
    In addition to conventional safety features such as front and side air
bags, HSR-VI incorporates many different systems to not only keep its
passengers safe, but to avoid accidents to begin from the onset.
    HSR-VI is constructed with a rigid, extruded aluminum space frame covered
by a polycarbonate material that is highly effective in absorbing impact
energy in the event of an accident.  In addition, this material is treated to
cut ultraviolet rays to keep the cabin cooler.
    The windshield and side windows of HSR-VI are coated with a silicone-based
resin that repels water in rainy conditions to maximize visibility; at speeds
low enough that water does collect on the windshield, jet wipers shoot blasts
of air to blow them away.  HSR-VI's crystal headlamps are made of soft resin
to provide greater brightness and a longer range than conventional units.
    In a quest to be as safe as possible, even HSR-VI's driver does not escape
scrutiny.  Cameras with infrared lights monitor the driver's blinking and eye
movements -- day and night -- and will sound an alarm if the driver falls
asleep or loses attention.

    Environmental Concern
    While vehicles of the future will take an even more aggressive approach to
exhaust emissions and fuel efficiency, Mitsubishi Motors is addressing this
challenge today.  HSR-VI is powered by a 2.4-liter, DOHC 4-cylinder engine
that employs Mitsubishi Motors' gasoline-direct injection (GDI) technology.
    GDI provides significantly more power and fuel efficiency, while reducing
exhaust emissions, than a conventional engine of the same size.  This
futuristic engine is similar to the one currently used in several Mitsubishi
Motors' vehicles currently being sold in Japan and Europe.
    In HSR-VI, the GDI engine is mated to a continuously variable
transmission, combined with traction control, that automatically selects the
appropriate drive ratio for any given moment.

    Ultimate Handling Technology
    Using what Mitsubishi Motors refers to as "All-Wheel Control," HSR-VI
incorporates several different systems to enhance handling and traction.
    HSR-VI has Active Yaw Control (AYC) to balance traction among all four
wheels, optimizing cornering performance by transferring torque to the left or
right front and rear wheels.  AYC improves steering accuracy without applying
the brakes or reducing engine output, assuring the type of strong acceleration
expected of an advanced vehicle of the future.  In addition, HSR-VI controls
cornering and braking by transferring power to the left or right as necessary.
    This sophisticated concept car has four-wheel steering to allow it to
corner exactly as the driver wishes.  In addition, HSR-VI has an
electronically controlled suspension, improving cornering and ride comfort by
automatically adjusting suspension damping and vehicle height.

    Vision of Tomorrow
    Without a doubt, the HSR-VI is a glimpse into the future of automotive
technology.  More than just a futuristic concept car, it previews real
solutions for tomorrow's traffic patterns while providing passengers with the
additional benefits of more efficient drive time, safety and performance.
    Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. was established in 1982 by
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Tokyo, and markets a full line of vehicles,
including coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles.

SOURCE  Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc.

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