Monday, December 22, 2008

Mitsubishi Colt

Mitsubishi Colt

The current Mitsubishi Colt is a supermini built by Mitsubishi Motors at their NedCar plant in the Netherlands, using the same underpinnings as its sister car, the now discontinued Smart Forfour. Mitsubishi has used the name twice previously, first as the marque of a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s. The Chrysler Corporation, Mitsubishi's longtime partner, also used the name in the 1970 when it rebadged the second generation Mitsubishi Galant as Dodge Colt and Plymouth Colt captive imports for the United States market.


1960s Mitsubishi Colt 1000

Mitsubishi introduced the "Colt" name in 1962 on the Colt 600, the first of a line of small, sporty vehicles complementing their Mitsubishi 500, the company's first post-war passenger car. Powered by a NE35A 594 cc OHV two cylinder air-cooled engine. At this time, Mitsubishi Motors did not yet exist as an autonomous company, and vehicles were being produced by three regional subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. MHI, which had been formally dismantled after the Second World War, resumed operating as a single entity in 1964, but continued to use the 'Colt' marque until the 1970s in Asia, and the 1980s in Europe.

To complement the 600, a larger compact car was introduced in 1963, the Colt 1000, followed by the Colt 800 and Colt 1500 in 1965, and the Colt 1100 in 1966.

The Colt marque was used principally in the United Kingdom, and phased out around 1984. In New Zealand, the Colt brand began disappearing in the mid 1970s in favour of Mitsubishi and surfaced as a model name only in the late 1980s and in 2003.

1980s and 1990s

For further details, please see article on the Mitsubishi Mirage

In the 1980s, Mitsubishi Motors Australia offered the original Mirage as the Colt, building it at its Adelaide plant. The Australian Colt was available as a four- or five-door with a 1.6-litre engine at the top of the range. It was sold as an entry-level model there and in New Zealand, where the second-generation Mirage was already on offer.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Colt name was applied to the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in most export markets.


Mitsubishi Colt
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Production 2003–present
Assembly Born, Netherlands
Okazaki, Aichi, Japan
Turin, Italy
Predecessor Mitsubishi Mirage / Colt
Class Supermini
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
2-door hardtop convertible
Engine(s) 4G15 & others
Transmission(s) 5-speed
Wheelbase 2500 mm (98.4 in)
Length 3870 mm (152.4 in) – 3885 mm (153 in)
Width 1680 mm (66.1 in)
Height 1550 mm (61 in)
Fuel capacity 47 litres
Related Smart Forfour
Designer Olivier Boulay

In 2003, a new Colt was released by Mitsubishi in Japan with a design by Olivier Boulay and built on the same platform as the Smart Forfour. A European version made at Mitsubishi's NedCar facility followed into production a year later (see below).

In 2004, the Colt was launched in Europe, with models ranging from 1.1 MPI, 1.3 MPI, 1.5 MPI and 1.5T in petrol. The performance specification 1.5T was based on the 4G15 block, with a Turbo and Intercooler to aid power (147 hp @ 6000 rpm / 155 lb·ft (210 N·m) @ 3500 rpm). MIVEC variable valve timing was also used to increase the output, upping the power dramatically from the 109 hp (81 kW) 1.5 MPI. The same performance engine was also used to power the later released CZC cabrio model Colt (2005), with the more petrol-friendly 1.5 MPI available as a option.

The Smart forfour also shared the '03 specification chassis, with Brabus releasing a performance version of the forfour in '04 using the same engine as used in the '04 European cz-T, but squeezing 30 extra HP out of the same 4G15.

In November 2004, a 1.5 L D-ID direct injection turbodiesel version with Turbocharger and Intercooler, producing 95 PS (70 kW) was made available, with an option of the Allshift automatic manual gearbox with electric clutch and six gears.

Colt Plus

In 2004, the Colt Plus was launched in Japan. This was essentially a longer version of the standard Colt.

In March 2007, Mitsubishi launched Colt Plus in Taiwan. It's much similar to the version launched in Japan, however, the engine is different. It's powered by a 1.6-litre SOHC 4G18 engine and it's the same engine used in the 2000 Taiwanese specification Lancer, only running slightly increased power of 112 hp (84 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 14.9 kg.m @ 4500 rpm. It's the only model of Colt Plus that is powered by 1.6-litre engine in the world and it uses the INVECS-III CVT transmission in fully automatic mode.


Mitsubishi Colt CZC

Mitsubishi released its new Colt CZC coupé cabriolet to the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005, and the car has been on sale since 2006. The car is a 2+2 with a retractable hard-top and available with the turbo engine from the European cz-T or as just a 1.5 MPI. Jointly developed by Mitsubishi and Pininfarina under Ken Okuyama, it is partly made in the Netherlands, with final assembly taking part at Pininfarina in Turin, Italy.

Ralliart Version-R

Mitsubishi released a new Colt Ralliart Version-R in Japan on May 30, 2006. Its 4G15 engine, with MIVEC variable valve timing and turbocharger, produces 154 PS (113 kW) at 6000 rpm and 210 N·m (155 ft·lbf) at 3500 rpm. Other key features include a stiffer chassis, bodykit, and Recaro bucket seats borrowed from the Lancer Evolution VIII MR. The rear seats are molded for two passengers, as opposed to three in the rest of the range. Incidentally, this is the same engine used in the 2004 European performance specification Colt (cz-T), only running slightly increased horse power figures (torque stayed the same). This version is also sold in Australia and New Zealand as the Colt Ralliart, without the 'Version-R' designation. The CVT version is officially sold in Singapore under the same designation as Japan.

Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version-R

Mitsubishi Colt MIEV

In 2006 Mitsubishi launched the Colt MIEV, a new type of car, using a separate electric motor at each wheel.

Development of their MIEV technology was first announced May '06 when Mitsubishi unvieled the Colt version is a rear-wheel drive all-electric vehicle fitted Colt MIEV test-bed. With two 20 kW in-wheel motors that deliver 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) torque each to the rear wheels. The Colt MIEV has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) and a cruising range of 150 km (93 miles) on a single charge. Charge times have been suggested to be a quick as 10 minutes, although whether this is partial or full is undisclosed. It does however point to the usage of quick-charge batteries such as those developed by Toshiba.

Mitsubishi used the Colt test bed to perform on-road testing to identify and resolve any problems unique to the in-wheel motor vehicle, including any deterioration in road holding and ride comfort due to increases in un-sprung weight, as well as reliability and durability issues in the in-wheel motor system and its peripheral components (suspension, wheels, tires). They simultaneously worked on developing a more powerful version of the in wheel motors for 4WD applications (Mitsubishi Lancer, etc.).

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