Mitsubishi - RPM 7000
Original name: 三菱 RPM 7000
Radically Emphatic Styled Mitsubishi RPM 7000 Makes Global Debut At 2001 North American International Auto Show
No-Compromise Active Lifestyle Concept Combines Rally Car Performance and Unique Packaging
After winning the Paris-Dakar Rally and the World Rally Championships around the globe, Mitsubishi Motors engineers and designers set out to tackle an even greater goal: winning the hearts and the minds of discerning drivers who want a vehicle with unparalleled performance and uncompromising versatility.
The RPM 7000 is a bold and aggressive answer to the age-old question: "Why can't a sports car be made practical enough for everyday use?" Stepping up to answer this call through innovative packaging and a high-performance powertrain, the RPM 7000 is aimed directly at satisfying consumers who want unparalleled on-road performance combined with uncompromising passenger and cargo versatility as well as unyielding off-road prowess.
"The RPM 7000 challenges all convention though its incredible performance and real world usability. While redefining the term sports car and contemplating how we can take such a concept to the retail market one day in the future, the RPM 7000 creates a segment all its own," said Pierre Gagnon, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. "Our racing heritage in Paris-Dakar as well as our success in World Rally Championships have made us a leader in this kind of motorsports competition, and the RPM 7000 is our most recent reflection of this racing expertise."
The overall geo-mechanical design takes on an aggressive look, with a Formula-1 race car inspired nose-cone shape and large air ducts for proper engine cooling management. Lens covered, multiple projection-beam headlights blend into the voluptuous fenders while a wedge belt line and a Geo-Mechanical break at the hip point accents the overall style. The traditional high-back wagon-look is replaced by a gracefully sloping roofline that features a rear window that retracts into the body and a rear deck-lid that disappears like the cover on a roll-top desk. The rear passenger seats can then be folded to make a pickup-like rear cargo area, generously-sized to fit a wave runner or two mountain bikes. The driver's side features the familiar coupe design, with a long, single door. The passenger's side speaks a whole different story, with two "suicide style" center-opening doors for easy curbside access into the four-passenger interior.
The dayglow metallic, anodized orange paint scheme was inspired by red-hot exhaust manifolds on race car engines. The RPM 7000's aggressive style is further accented through high ground clearance and large-diameter, 19-inch, six-spoke aluminum alloy wheels mounted to 245/60VR19 Goodyear tires patterned after Formula-1 rain treads.
"Style and design are nothing if a car can't live up to the expected power and performance," said Mike Desmond, designer of the RPM 7000 at the Mitsubishi Research and Design America (MRDA) studio in Southern California. "We made sure the RPM 7000 had the raw power that could cash the race car 'checks' its body design was signing."
Rally-inspired performance goals called for rally-proven power and technology in the RPM 7000. The renowned engine from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rally race car was re-engineered specifically for this vehicle, producing 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpms. The 2.0-liter, DOHC 4-cylinder engine gains its strength through a large-diameter, twin-intercooled, twin-scroll turbocharger and transfers its power to all four wheels through an Active Control Transfer. This variable-torque all-wheel drive system features a viscous coupling center differential.
A close ratio, 5-speed manual transmission utilizes an all-carbon, three-plate competition clutch, allowing for high-rpm, rally-racing style acceleration launches. To stop quickly, the RPM 7000 incorporates large-diameter, ventilated brake rotors featuring eight-piston brake calipers up front with a four-piston design used in the rear.
Just as serious as the exterior design and powertrain engineering is the RPM 7000's interior architecture. The "down-to-business" race car-inspired cockpit features a built in roll-cage that is integrated into the internal support structure. Purposeful and functional, the four-passenger layout features extensive use of carbon-fiber while exposed interior door-frames integrate with the metal structure as part of the interior design theme. True to form of an authentic rally car, the RPM 7000's shifter, ignition and switches have all been purposefully designed to be utilized by the driver while wearing racing gloves, demonstrating the true racing philosophy behind this unique vehicle.
The center console represents a marriage of function with convenience, featuring a touch-screen monitor incorporating the vehicle's climate control system, on-board navigation, music system with CD, satellite feed and MP3 capability, as well as rally racing functions including stage timer and engine management control display. The RPM 7000 complements the active lifestyle and no-compromise attitudes of young drivers today allowing the driver to take along three friends and their gear for almost any adventure.
All combined, the RPM 7000 signals the birth of a new direction in the performance vehicle market, with unyielding power and smart packaging for unparalleled versatility. With race inspired styling and the performance to match, the RPM 7000 provides the go-anywhere flexibility to enable the automobile enthusiast of tomorrow to seek out destinations as exciting as the driving experience itself.