Mitsubishi has dropped the curtain on a concept for Detroit's 2008 North American International Auto Show. In keeping with their boring concept naming scheme, this one's called Concept-RA.
Unimaginative name aside, this bright red coupe gets your attention. Mitsubishi has taken the Lancer Evolution X's saucy S-AWC driveline - which includes fun acronyms like ACD, AYC, Sport ABS, and ASC - and added active steering and suspension. All of that vehicle dynamics tech is coupled with the Twin Clutch SST used in the Japanese Evo X. That transmission will soon be available on U.S.-bound Evos as well.
Like the Concept-cX shown in Frankfurt, this Mitsubishi is powered by a four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel, this time displacing 2.2 liters and good for a claimed 40-plus mpg. The engine cover is visible through the hood, and the powerplant features a variable turbocharger, piezoelectric common-rail direct injection, and Mitsu's MIVEC variable valve timing.
Mitsubishi says the engine is good for a shocking 201 horsepower (that's almost 100 hp per liter - a figure that only the raciest gasoline engines achieve) and about 310 lb-ft of torque. Mitsubishi makes a point to mention that it complies with U.S. emissions standards, so don't be surprised if you see this engine pop up in future stateside products wearing a three-diamond badge.
The new coupe shape - which rides on 21-inch wheels - is wrapped around an aluminum spaceframe and topped with impact-resistant, recyclable plastic body panels. Those lightweight features and the efficient diesel allow it to qualify for an auto show green card.
Click below for high-resolution Concept-RA images.