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Mitsubishi Technas 4x4

sh0w c@r

1999 was Mitsubishi's year to show a wild flight of styling fancy in the shape of the Mitsubishi Technas 4x4, here at the Motor Show; they've done it before with the Zaus. Mitsubishi describe this new one as having "21st century levels of safety, comfort and utility", so perhaps the Technas, or at least some of its features, will find a way into production in the new millenium? Isuzu have already shown that there is a niche for the radical in the form of the Vehicross which has been sold, in limited numbers, in Japan and, from 1999, in the US.

The Technas is 4505mm x 1855mm (l x w), close to the Mitsubishi Challenger. However the former is 85mm lower at 1645mm tall. If this is part of a trend, it shows Mitsubishi edging towards the car-style four wheel drive.
- 4wd.sofcom.com/4WD.html

sh0w c@r

Inside, each seat consists of a pipe-frame with netting, rather like a string vest, strung across the frame. As one wag put it, this would provide no resistance to... enough said. The frame arrangement, and the way that the (rear) seats can be removed for use at the beach etc., are reminiscent of the seats in the old Citroen 2CV. Standard seating is for two or four, but "a third row of two seats can be fitted in the luggage compartment".

The front doors are hinged normally, at their leading edges, but the rear doors are hinged at their trailing edges. This should make for huge side openings with the front and rear doors opening on the centre lines (as seen on some US SUVs of late) but there are door pillars in the way! Have the designers completely missed the point here?

The rear orifice opens in three sections: The top glass slides upwards and into the roof, and the lower part is divided into two doors which open to the left and right. To be frank, this is one of the fussier features of this 4x4.

Mitsubishi has incorporated new safety features in the Technas: High levels of safety in frontal, offset-frontal, and side impacts are claimed. The bumper and hood (bonnet) are designed to reduce pedestrian injury in accidents, by their shaping and energy-absorbing construction. More actively, the ATC system transfers torque to the outside wheel during cornering, improving handling. Four wheel drive is an electronically controlled, full-time system with a centre differential. It uses a hydraulically operated multi-plate clutch (an increasingly popular choice in the late 1990s) to control the torque split from 1:2 to fully-locked.

The engine is a 3.0 litre V6 with 4-valves per cylinder and dohc (per bank). The gearbox is a 5-speed unit with a "dash-shift selector".

The show car had a radical "runner-style" tread pattern on its 255/40ZR19 low-profile tyres; can they possibly be street-legal? Independent suspension presumably provides good on-road handling, and the rear end includes self-levelling.

Go to the Mitsubishi pages


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