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Engine Technology

Concern for the Environment

Awareness of the impact that the automobile has on the natural environment is a genuine concern of auto manufacturers around the world. In this field, Mitsubishi Motors is known within the industry for the development of a great number of cutting-edge technologies. Of course, the emphases of research and development have become more refined with time. In the 70s, the major concern was air quality and fuel economy. Mitsubishi developed the MCA-Jet engine in 1977 and became the first manufacturer to meet the stringent air quality requirements of the early 80s. In 1982, the MD engine came on the scene. This was the world's first modulated displacement engine, setting a new standard for sub-compact fuel economy. The Cyclone engine series of the mid and late 80s provided excellent performance and fuel economy. The mid- and late 80s saw the focus on providing excellent performance without the loss of fuel economy. Mitsubishi developed the Cyclone engine series in 1986 to address these concerns.

In the 90s, the major issues relating to the engine were concentrated on depletion of natural resources and global warming, as well as a continuing concern about the quality of the air we breathe. At Mitsubishi, one area of effort with immediate application is the development of lean combustion engines. These engines enhance fuel efficiency, and decrease emissions such as CO2, without sacrificing power or driveability.

MVV Engine 1992

In 1992, Mitsubishi began producing the MVV (Mitsubishi Vertical Vortex) engine. The lean-burn MVV engine can achieve complete combustion with an air-fuel ratio as high as 25:1, whereas conventional engines require 14.7:1. The result is 13% better fuel economy at 40km/h over a conventional engine powered vehicle. This 13% improved fuel economy means lower CO2 emissions, a major factor in global warming.

The MVV engine utilizes a twin intake port design to induce vertical vortices inside the cylinder. The result is a barrel pattern of stratification ensuring in the process that the influxes from the two intake ports do not mix together until the end of the compression stroke. The design of the compression chamber ensures the total collapse and transformation into small-scale turbulence of the vertical vortices at the end of the compression stroke. The turbulence and the mixture stratification provide accelerated and stable combustion.

The MVV engine is equipped on some Minica (Towny) and Libero (Lancer Station Wagon) models in Japan.

MIVEC-MD Engine 1993

In 1993, the MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control) engine went into production. At that time, the MIVEC led its class in fuel economy at 16km/l in urban driving without sacrificing power. The key to the MIVEC engine's outstanding operating performance is the three mode regulated operation. Depending on driving conditions, the MIVEC system switches between low-speed, high-speed and MD (modulated displacement) modes. Modified cam and rocker profiles provide the most efficient operation possible in the first two modes. In MD mode, the MIVEC engine utilizes only two of its four cylinders, which reduces significantly the energy wasted due to pumping losses. In addition, power loss due to engine friction is also reduced. Advanced cylinder air flow control technology found in the MVV engine is incorporated in the MIVEC, improving combustion performance.

Lancer, Mirage (Colt) and FTO models marketed in Japan are equipped with the MIVEC engine.

GDI Engine 1995

Mitsubishi Motors is known within the industry for development of a great number of cutting-edge technologies. One of the most exciting is the award-winning GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, the first application of this technology in the world to offer both outstanding performance and environment-friendly characteristics. After years of research, production of the GDI began in 1995. Its first offering to the general public was in 1996 with the release in Japan of the 8th generation Galant. By late 1998, Mitsubishi had developed, utilizing GDI technology, four basic engine models and had incorporated them into nine passenger car models produced in Japan and two models produced in Europe.

GDI Engine Family

1.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder
Japan-produced models:
Mirage Dingo, Lancer Cedia

1.8-liter in-line 4-cylinder
Japan-produced models: Galant, Legnum, Aspire, RVR, Pajero iO, Lancer Cedia
Europe-produced models: Carisma, Space Star

2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder
Japan-produced models: Dion

2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder
Japan-produced models: Chariot Grandis, RVR, Galant, Legnum

2.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder
Japan-produced models: Diamante

3.0-liter V6
Japan-produced models: Diamante

3.5-liter V6
Japan-produced models: Pajero, Challenger

4.5-liter V8
Japan-produced models: Pajero, Challenger, Proudia

The GDI delivers outstanding fuel economy and up to 20% less fuel consumption than comparable gasoline engines. This not only saves the consumers money at the gas pump, but it also offers a great deal from the environmental standpoint. 20% reduction in fuel consumption is a 20% savings of our natural resources. A 20% reduction also means that 20% less CO2, a main cause of global warming, is being produced. Other emissions, including NOx, SOx CO, hydrocarbons and particulates, are also much lower. The GDI also offers drivers more power and torque for greater driving pleasure. It runs smoothly and quietly, even at high speeds and provides rapid standing-start acceleration.

These excellent characteristics have won acclaim from governments, industry and the popular press in Japan and Europe.

The RJC Technology of the Year 1996/97

Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan

Minister's Prize in the Energy Saving Equipment and Systems for the 21st Century category

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) -- Japan

Technology Award

The Nikkei Business Publications Inc. -- Japan (Publisher's prize)

Director's Award for Prevention of Global Warming

1997 Environmental Agency Awards to Major Contributors toward Environmental Preservation -- Japan (Government body)

1996 Medal for New Technology

JSME (The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers) -- Japan

1996 Nikkei Award for Creative Excellence in Products and Services

Nihon Keizai Shimbun -- Japan (Newspaper)

Paul Peitsch Award for Technical Excellence

Auto Motor und Sport -- Germany (magazine)

European Auto Innovation Award '98

Auto Bild -- Germany (magazine)

First Place Award in the Advanced Technology Section of the Auto Trophy '98

Auto Zeitung -- Germany (magazine)

Environmental Award '99

Fleet World -- U.K. (magazine)

GDI-Sigma Series 1999

In 1999, Mitsubishi introduced the GDI-SIGMA powertrain series. This advanced new series brings together the high-performance, environmentally friendly GDI engine and various peripheral technologies. The new GDI-SIGMA series technologies include GDI-CVT; Integrated Control of the GDI engine and CVT (continuously variable transmission), GDI-ASG; Indling stop system, GDI-HEV; Hybrid system, and GDI-GPT; High-response, low-consumption GDI turbocharger. These new technologies have been developed to maximize the benefits of the GDI engine by integrating these qualities with new drivetrain technology, auxiliary electric power equipment, new auxiliary equipment technology and performance-enhancing technology. In short, this marriage of technologies has resulted a in significant improvement of fuel economy, reduction of exhaust emissions and better overall performance in both inner-city, stop-and-go and highway operation.

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