The 2003 Mitsubishi Shogun - The Wider Story | Part Four

The wider Story

After 20 years at the top, the Shogun can rightly claim to be probably the world’s leading all-round on and off-road vehicle.

The Shogun has a very strong customer base – reflected by recent research showing more than 60 per cent of buyers are purchasing their second or third version – and has been designed to be a true multi-purpose vehicle meeting the needs of those looking for a stylish on-road vehicle with off-road ability, or those who need a working car in rural areas in addition to a suburban run-around.

More than 2,100,000 Shogun/Pajero/Montero models have been sold in more than 158 countries worldwide since 1982, with more than 70,000 sold in the UK to date.

Those figures reflect the fact that the SUV vehicle market is continuing to expand, and Mitsubishi is benefiting from its decision not to compromise with soft off-road models for these sectors.

The Shogun is the only range of 4-wheel drive vehicles to offer two environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient engines, while the options of full leather seat trim, a 10-CD autochanger and wood dash trim give drivers the opportunity to own a luxury vehicle with no compromise on power or adaptability.

Fuel Economy

Both the GDI and DI-D engines produce excellent fuel economy; 19.9mpg (GDI) and 26.9 to 29.7mpg (DI-D) on the combined cycle.

CO2 emissions are low (251g/km to 339g/km) due to the Shogun’s latest engines, reduced weight and new body design. The GDI ECO light indicates when GDI is operating at its most efficient level, encouraging more economical driving.

Engines

All members of the Shogun family benefit from the inclusion of Mitsubishi’s Direct Injection Technology which is designed to provide more power and deliver better fuel economy than its predecessors.

Mitsubishi’s 3.2 litre 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC DI-D with turbocharger and intercooler was the first Mitsubishi diesel in Europe with direct injection technology, and again the 2002 model complies with the latest Step III European emission regulations.

DI-D technology has improved fuel consumption with the combined figure being 29.7mpg for the manual transmission models and 26.9mpg for the automatic versions. CO2 emissions are 251g/km and 278g/km for the manual and automatic respectively, against 300g/km and 342g/km for the previous 2.8 litre indirect injection Turbo Diesel engine.

The DI-D engine produces 158bhp at 3,800rpm and 275 lb ft of torque at only 2,000rpm.

Using DI-D technology, the induction port generates ‘induction swirl’ during intake, while the large area of the piston top creates compression swirl when the piston rises. Diesel fuel is injected at high pressure into the combustion chamber where it vaporizes instantly and completely mixes with the swirling air. The heat caused by the high pressure and turbulence initiates combustion.

Direct injection also improved the Shogun’s fuel economy by 12-15% by eliminating the heat losses and negative workload imposed by a separate swirl chamber. This also results in a lower compression ratio of 17:1 (against 21:1 of the previous model) for a smoother, quieter performance.

The DI-D 4-valve per cylinder engine design provides excellent air-intake efficiency, while parallel-type induction ports and its cross-flow layout ensure an ideal balance between swirl and the amount of air flowing in. The compact turbocharger and intercooler further increases torque, power, and throttle response.

GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) is available in a V6 configuration in the Shogun’s 3.5 litre engine which has a 24-valve V6 DOHC system. The 3.2 litre DI-D engine was also the first Mitsubishi diesel engine in Europe with direct injection technology, and all engines in the 2002 Shogun range comply with the latest Step III European emission regulations.

The 3.5 GDI engine provides 200bhp at 5,000rpm and delivers 235 lb ft of torque at 4,000rpm. Its flat torque curve ensures excellent all-round performance, but its real benefit lies at the lower engine speed as it delivers nearly 80% of its maximum torque at just 1,500rpm. This gives the Shogun 3.5 GDI the power to accelerate very quickly on road and to conquer the toughest off-road terrain.

In low load conditions, the GDI engine operates in Ultra-Lean Combustion Mode as compression stroke injection creates a stratified air-fuel mixture. The overall mixture is a lean 40:1 when idling and between 20:1 and 30:1 while cruising, against the norm of 14.7:1 of a conventional single mode MPI engine.

In high load conditions GDI technology switches to Superior Output Mode, with injection on the induction stroke. For powerful low end torque, the GDI temporarily switches to Two-Stage Mixing where an ultra-lean knock-suppression spray of fuel is injected during the induction stroke, creating a stratified mixture with an air/fuel ratio of 60:1. This cools the air entering the cylinders preventing detonation. An additional injection of fuel on the compression stroke corrects the air/fuel ratio for combustion to take place. The secret of GDI technology is this ability to have variable fuel injection timing.

When it comes to fuel economy, the GDI engine is designed to reduce the possibility of wasted unburned fuel, and the throttle control system ensures an ideal air-fuel mixture at all times.

The 93mm x 85.8mm short-stroke design and DOHC configuration promise excellent high-end response and potent acceleration, while the 60º ‘V’ configuration provides a compact design. The cam lobes have a profile to maximise power at low to mid engine speeds, and friction within the engine is kept to a minimum by using roller rocker arms. The 24-valve cylinder head design allows the engine to breathe efficiently through the upright straight inlet port. The pent-roof combustion chamber design linked with the curved top pistons eliminate dead space in the combustion chamber and reduce the likelihood of unburned fuel being emitted from the engine through the exhaust system.

The precision of an electronically controlled ‘drive by wire’ throttle further improves fuel economy. By conveying the driver’s intention electronically via throttle control, this system provides the perfect air-fuel mixture at all times, as well as the large volume of air needed for ultra-lean combustion. A ‘GDI-ECO’ light comes on when the engine is operating in its low fuel consumption driving mode.

continues... | Part Five
Published 22 December 2002 Melanie Carter
 
 

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