The Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car has undergone months of intense development work and the team’s latest challenger for the FIA World Rally Championship - the Lancer WRC05 - will break cover at the 2005 Rallye Monte-Carlo, January’s season-opening event.
The FIA World Rally Championship regulations have changed in a number of areas for 2005 and the Mitsubishi Motor Sports team has seized this chance to further enhance key areas of the Lancer WRC05. One of the most notable changes permits manufactures to increase the width of the car body shell by 30mm, from 1770mm to 1800mm. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Lancer WRC05 now has re-designed front and rear wings, rear quarters and bumpers, making subtle visual changes but aiding stability.
In tandem with this, longer suspension links and drive-shafts are required and uprights have been modified to optimize the suspension geometry. In short, there has been a complete review of the suspension and, while the Tarmac-specification dampers used in the 2004 Rallye Catalunya-Rally de España were designed to comply with the new wider body shell of the WRC05, specific changes have been made to adapt the uprights and dampers to the new geometry on the gravel specification Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05. While retaining a light-weight form, these will improve stiffness and be used from Rally México onwards. Further modifications to the internal components are also then planned, affording greater freedom and finer tuning.
Improvements to the engine include new waste gate and anti-lag valves, both of which will be run from Rallye Monte-Carlo. These parts, working with an improved engine control, will give a significant performance improvement and more accurate tuning possibilities.
"In particular, this means we can get much closer to the limits acceptable to the engine in all conditions," commented the team’s Technical Director, Mario Fornaris. "The final fine-tuning can now be on the absolute limit."
Improvements to the turbo-charger have also been investigated, although assessment of the increase in efficiency is still on-going and will be included in the WRC homologation in December if proved to be effective.