The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Mitsubishi Motors' ASX Concept Multi-Activity Vehicle


Environmental Friendliness, Ergonomic Packaging and Dynamic Driving Performance Are Keynotes for the Vehicle of Tomorrow

Watch the entire introduction from Detroit Click here DETROIT, Jan. 10 Meeting the unique automotive needs of various people in different parts of the world has always been the primary challenge of producing a truly global vehicle. The Mitsubishi ASX multi-activity concept, unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show, confronts this challenge head on by addressing versatility, performance and environmental issues to create an automobile for all reasons. ASX stands for Active Sports Crossover and is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow's all-purpose vehicle buyer: smart and ergonomic packaging that allows for manageable exterior dimensions with maximized interior room; sports sedan-handling and performance with low exhaust emissions and high fuel economy; and full-time four-wheel drive flexibility to tackle various weather and surface conditions. "The ASX showcases our execution of the industry-wide crossover phenomenon, combining car-like size and driving characteristics with off-pavement ability and all-season confidence," said Pierre Gagnon, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. "Our worldwide team of engineers and designers has created a vehicle that crosses not only categories, but geographical needs and considerations for markets around the world, creating a truly 'global crossover' vehicle." Combining a sleek, sedan-like personality with the function of an SUV was not a simple undertaking, and the ASX's style represents a fusion of these dichotomous themes elegantly blended to create an automobile that virtually stands alone. Its hidden B and C pillars and sleek roof silhouette combine with the familiar "performance sedan" sloping hoodline and contemporary front fascia. Yet its substantial front and rear bumper claddings and thick side molding sit high and rugged to indicate that the ASX's 9.6-inches of ground clearance can and will perform in nearly all weather conditions and surfaces. The large, 17-inch wheels provide the trekking ability through mud, sleet or snow, while the 235 width and 55-profile tires ensure confident on-road cornering and high-speed stability. The ASX incorporates a sophisticated powerplant with an emphasis on efficient fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions without compromising horsepower or torque. The 2.4-liter displacement 16-valve engine features Mitsubishi Motors' renowned Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) system. Utilizing low sulfur unleaded gas, GDI technology injects air and fuel separately and directly into the combustion chamber as opposed to the traditional air/fuel mixture. This produces a more volatile environment in the chamber, resulting in a more powerful combustion that burns fuller and more completely, leaving less unburned fuel in its emissions while producing more power. This power is transferred through a second-generation INVECS (Intelligent and Innovative Vehicles Electronic Control System) 4-speed automatic transmission, and features the Sportronic(TM) sequential shift system. This computer-controlled transmission allows for engine revs to be held for added torque off-road until the driver chooses to shift to a higher gear, or allows for manual-style downshifts for increased power management in spirited on-road drives. The ASX features a full-time four-wheel drive system utilizing a center differential with viscous coupling. Like the ASX itself, the INVECS transmission provides the best of both worlds for off-road confidence and on-road performance. A stylish and ergonomic interior demonstrates the flexibility of the ASX, and provides unyielding luxury and convenience with functionality. The unique, T-shaped dash gives the driver a commanding view of the gauges as well as the road while maintaining the familiar, car-like seating position. The ASX also features a semi-flat floor for excellent cargo capacity and allows for improved mobility around the cabin. The large greenhouse provides for excellent visibility all around the spacious interior cabin while luxuriously appointed leather-trimmed seats provide comfort for five passengers. Numerous technological innovations compliment the driving experience, including an advanced driving information system and the Mitsubishi Multi-Communications System (MMCS). Several unique features are part of the MMCS system, including on-board vehicle navigation, driver information center, climate and audio controls and a rear-facing camera to assist in reversing. All these features are contained within a rigid and reinforced unibody structure with attention to passenger safety and security. "As all parts of the world embrace technology, the automobile will continue serving above and beyond the function of the personal conveyance device it was originally intended to be," adds Gagnon. "We will continue to design, engineer and manufacture vehicles that serve as enablers to the visionary consumer; vehicles that inspire creativity and drive emotions. The ASX is only the latest example of this continuing global effort for Mitsubishi Motors." The Mitsubishi ASX will be modified to meet the Japanese market requirements and will go on sale in that country in mid-2001 before release to other world markets.