Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 Car | Part Two

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04


In designing the chassis, the emphasis has been not just on good handling, but on strength, simplicity and ease of maintenance. The car uses MacPherson strut suspension all round. It is a robust system and to make servicing straightforward, components are often interchangeable not only front and rear, but left to right as well. Most suspension components will be made of steel, to ensure reliability. The Lancer WRC04 will use specially modified Ohlins dampers, like its recent predecessors, building on a fruitful past relationship. The steering rack and crossmembers are also new designs, partly because the engine has been relocated, tilted 20 degrees rearwards to improve weight distribution.

The 16-valve, twin-cam, two-litre engine belongs to the 4G6 family used so successfully in previous Lancers. It employs the well proven cast iron block and an aluminium alloy cylinder head, but it has also benefited from significant alteration. First and foremost, it is based on the version of the engine fitted to the new and highly popular Lancer Evo VIII showroom car, but with a new turbocharger, fitted with the regulation 34-millimetre intake restrictor, new intake and exhaust manifolds, and new internals. Although the bore and stroke remain unchanged, the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons have been lightened and the electronic management systems are new. MMSP has turned to Magneti Marelli to supply its electronics for the first time, using an advanced engine management package that doesn’t rely on fuses or circuit breakers. There are two control units, one for the engine and one for the chassis. As the system is fully integrated, each is capable of controlling all electronic functions throughout the car. The system saves weight and enhances reliability.

The transmission also reflects MMSP’s new strategy and has nothing in common with the four-wheel-drive systems used on previous Lancers. The 2004 car will use a transversely mounted five-speed gearbox supplied by Ricardo. The gearchange will be manual and all three differentials will be passive, an epicyclic centre differential splitting torque front to rear. The front and rear differentials will also operate on mechanical principles.

continues... | Part Three
Published 27 November 2003 Melanie Carter

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