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All-New 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

All-New 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Delivers Driven-To-Thrill Performance From New 152-Hp Engine And Optional CVT

2008 Mitsubishi LancerThe all-new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer delivers driven-to-thrill performance with an all-new 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine, standard in all models. The new-generation Lancer is also the first Mitsubishi in North America to offer an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) in place of a conventional automatic transmission. When equipped with the optional CVT, the Lancer GTS exclusively features a 6-step Sportronic┬« that allows the driver to manually control the CVT using magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters – a first in the segment.

The new-generation Lancer’s 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine is among the most powerful standard engines in its segment, with 152 hp at 6,000 rpm (Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions) – a significant 26-percent increase over the previous Lancer’s 120-hp 2.0-liter engine. The new 2.0-liter engine has a high specific output of 76.0 hp/liter. The 2008 Lancer’s engine also produces a sizeable step up in torque over its predecessor, with 146 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,250 rpm compared to 130 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,250 rpm for the previous model. For California, Lancer is PZEV-certified and offers 143 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 143 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,250 rpm.

Optional on all 2008 Lancer models, the CVT operates more smoothly than traditional automatic transmissions and helps the Lancer achieve both better performance and fuel economy than the less-powerful and lighter previous model.

With either the redesigned standard 5-speed manual transmission or the optional CVT, the new Lancer is notably quicker than the previous model, in both standing-start acceleration and passing performance. With the standard 5-speed manual transmission, the 2008 Lancer can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than nine seconds.

With its optional CVT, the Lancer can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in ten seconds, about two seconds quicker than the previous model with its optional 4-speed automatic transmission. The 2008 Lancer with optional CVT delivers – based on a new calculation method indicated by EPA for all 2008 models — an estimated 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway.

The standard 5-speed manual transmission has been redesigned to handle the additional power output of the Lancer’s new 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine. The new transmission housing is a half-inch shorter than the previous one. Third and fourth gears now use double-cone synchronizers, and a new honing process was used to reduce noise. Gear ratios have been optimized for the new engine’s torque curve.

All-New Engine Architecture
The 2008 Lancer 2.0-liter engine is based on an all-new architecture that employs new technologies and weight-reducing features. The new aluminum cylinder block will also be used as the foundation for the next Lancer Evolution engine. The cylinder head is also aluminum. The double overhead-cam (DOHC) cylinder head features four valves per cylinder, compared to the single overhead cam (SOHC) configuration used before. The Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) – a continuously variable valve timing system – ensures optimal power, high fuel efficiency and low emissions across the engine’s operating range. The Lancer’s MIVEC system works on both the intake and exhaust valves.

The new 2.0-liter engine’s bore and stroke both measure 86.0 mm, which engineers refer to as “square.” In contrast, the previous-generation Lancer 2.0-liter engine was a long stroke (or “under-square”) design, with bore measuring 81.5 mm and stroke 95.8 mm.

The new cylinder dimensions contribute to a free-revving character (6,500 rpm redline) and an optimal balance of linear power delivery and wide torque curve that gives Lancer responsive and flexible responses characteristic of a larger-displacement engine.

For example, by 2,500 rpm the new Lancer 2.0-liter engine is already producing as much torque as the previous engine did at its peak at 4,250 rpm, in large part thanks to the MIVEC system. The strong mid-range torque in the Lancer will make the car feel more responsive in everyday driving.

The new Lancer 2.0-liter MIVEC engine has a higher compression ratio (10:1 vs. 9.5:1 for the previous engine) and still uses regular-grade fuel (87 AKI). Using a timing chain instead of a belt allows for a more compact design and also helps ensure reliability. Iridium spark plugs contribute to lower emissions and help extend major service intervals for lower cost of ownership. Only the California PZEV-certified models use an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.

Compact and Light
The new Lancer engine uses a number of weight-saving features and technologies – chief among them the new aluminum cylinder block and head. Overall engine weight has been reduced by 59.5 lbs. from the previous-generation, iron-block Lancer 2.0-liter engine, a significant difference that contributes to the new model’s nimble handling.

Other weight-reducing measures include a plastic cam cover and intake manifold and double-layer stainless steel exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold has a rear location on the transverse engine, compared to the front location for the previous engine, yielding important benefits. The rear location makes it easier to package the catalysts for quicker “light off,” and therefore better emissions performance. Also, as detailed in the “Dynamics” section of this press kit, the manifold’s rear location allows the use of a flat front suspension crossmember, which is stronger than the previous saddle-shaped crossmember needed to clear the exhaust pipe.

Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC)
Variable valve timing systems optimize engine performance in response to operating conditions. In the Lancer’s MIVEC system, intake and exhaust cam timing is independently controlled to provide four optimized engine-operating modes:

  • Under most conditions, to ensure highest fuel efficiency, valve overlap is increased to reduce pumping losses. The exhaust valve opening timing is retarded for higher expansion ratio, enhancing fuel economy.
  • When maximum power is demanded (high engine speed and load), intake valve closing timing is retarded to synchronize the intake air pulsations for larger air volume.
  • Under low-speed, high load, MIVEC ensures optimal torque delivery with the intake valve closing timing advanced to ensure sufficient air volume. At the same time, the exhaust valve opening timing is retarded to provide a higher expansion ratio and improved efficiency).
  • At idle, valve overlap is eliminated to stabilize combustion.

Vibration Control
To help ensure the 2.0-liter MIVEC engine’s smooth, quiet operation in the new Lancer, Mitsubishi used a 4-point inertial axis system with cylindrical hydraulic engine mounts on the left and right sides. A lightweight, high-rigidity squeeze-cast aluminum bracket on the right side mount (engine side) helps reduce engine noise under acceleration. A lightweight, high-rigidity steel plate bracket on the left side mount (transmission side) helps reduce gear noise. A custom-tuned insulator was developed for the front and rear mounts to help control both idle vibration and acceleration shock.

All-New CVT Delivers Better Performance and Better Economy
The Lancer is rare in its segment in offering an optional CVT in place of a conventional automatic transmission. A CVT not only can enhance performance and fuel economy, but also provides a smoother driving experience than a traditional automatic. As a result, the driver will enjoy a more premium driving experience.

A conventional automatic transmission uses fixed gear ratios, which engineers must select to provide the optimal balance of performance and efficiency and suit all customers and driving conditions. A CVT, in contrast, operates on a pulley system that allows an infinite variability between highest and lowest available ratios with no discrete steps or shifts. A CVT smoothly adapts to changing vehicle speeds, allowing the engine speed to remain at its level of peak efficiency, helping to improve both fuel economy and exhaust emissions. Because a CVT does not “shift” gears, the customer also benefits from smoother performance.

The Lancer’s CVT’s ratio range is 2.349 to 0.394, with a 6.12 final drive. The resulting ratio spread is far wider then was provided in the previous optional 4-speed automatic transmission, which had ratios of 2.842/1.529/1.000/0.712, with a 4.04 final drive. A CVT can offer greater flexibility than even a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission, because the transmission ratio is always adapting to the driver’s current power needs and the driving conditions.

Improved Driving Feel
By its nature, a CVT delivers a noticeably different driving feel for the customer, and so a manufacturer must use careful tuning and special control software to ensure a satisfying driving experience. Mitsubishi’s INVECS III software customizes the CVT shift strategy to match the acceleration and braking patterns of each driver, providing better drivability and responsiveness.

With a conventional automatic, when the driver presses on the accelerator, engine and vehicle speeds climb in unison, with perceptible rev drops between gearshifts. The Mitsubishi CVT, on the other hand, allows the engine to rev to its optimal-efficiency speed for a given throttle opening and vehicle load, adjusting the ratio to match the power demands.

The overall affect of the “car catching up with the engine” may seem surprising to a driver at first. Also, since the CVT is designed to keep the engine running at an optimal speed over a wide range of vehicle speeds, pressing on the accelerator pedal will increase vehicle speed but won’t necessarily change the engine sound – another trait that customers may find unusual at first.

However, after quick acclimation to the CVT, drivers come to appreciate its seamless operation. The Mitsubishi INVECS III software even simulates the slight off-the line lurch that drivers feel and expect in a conventional automatic transmission vehicle. Without this programming, CVT response could be perceived as sluggish.

CVT Control Modes
In Lancer DE and ES models, the optional CVT offers two driving modes – “D” and “L,” which will provide familiarity to those accustomed to conventional automatics. In each mode, the CVT ratio is controlled based on shift patterns, with a target primary rotation speed set to match vehicle speed and throttle opening. The D-range ratio pattern (analogous to the “Drive” mode in a conventional automatic) is programmed to provide an optimal balance of dynamic performance and fuel economy on most roads.

For slope control, INVECS III software determines the excess or deficiency of engine braking from the driver’s brake and accelerator operation, based on a value that suits driving conditions, and adaptively compensates. In particularly hilly areas, the driver can select “L” mode to provide stronger engine braking during deceleration.

Sportronic Mode for Lancer GTS
Exclusively in the 2008 Lancer GTS, the optional CVT features a Sportronic mode that provides instantaneous 6-step manual control via the magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters. Many conventional automatic transmissions offer manual control to provide a more engaging driving experience. However, the Sportronic CVT’s pulley hydraulics offer faster and crisper “shifts” than in conventional automatics. Such programming would theoretically have allowed Mitsubishi to select any number of “gears,” but six was determined as the best number for ease of use, sporty driving and flexible performance.

Source: Mitsubishi

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