Mitsubishi Racing Lancer
Click to enlarge

Mitsubishi has unveiled its 2009 Dakar rally competitor, the Mitsubishi Racing Lancer MRX09. MRX stands for Mitsubishi Rally Cross Country, and the 09 denotes the 2009 competition year. The Racing Lancer is what appears to be a 3-door version of the Lancer sportsback with raised suspension, offroad bits… are we looking at a CrossLancer here?

Well, not exactly. It uses some styling from the Lancer Sportsback but it is actually built on a tubular steel frame designed with advanced CAE analysis to optimize layout and dimensions of the tubing. The Lancer sportsback skin is made from carbon fiber. The Racing Lancer is 4,475mm long, 1,990mm wide and has a 2,900mm wheelbase.

Mitsubishi Motors says the Racing Lancer is a natural evolution for the Lancer and wants it to take over the competition baton from the Pajero and Pajero Evolution. Under the Racing Lancer’s hood is a 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel engine that the company is currently testing during Dakar 2008 and Fia Cross-Country Rally World Cup 2008 qualifying rounds. It produces over 260hp and more than 650Nm of torque, and is mated to a Ricardo 5-speed sequential manual. Power is driven to all four wheels of the 1,900kg race car via a permanent 4WD system with an LSD.