Team Mitsubishi Ralliart wins in first AXCR entry with Strada

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart wins in first AXCR entry with Strada

MANILA: Mitsubishi's motorsports arm returns to rallying. Using Triton Group T1 Prototype cross-country rally cars, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart competed in the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) 2022.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How did the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart win the AXCR 2022?

    Driver Chayapon Yotha from Thailand finished in first place overall over a total distance of 1,524 kilometers, including 637 kilometers of timed Special Stages, with a total time of 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 42 seconds. The team fielded a rally car based on the Mitsubishi Strada Ralliart.
  • What are the special exterior features of the Mitsubishi Strada Ralliart?

    The Mitsubishi Triton Ralliart pickup is highlighted by a Ralliart bed liner, black door mirror covers, and black door handles.
  • The rally took place from November 21 to November 26 in Thailand and Cambodia, and the carmaker fielded a rally car based on the 2022 Mitsubishi Strada Ralliart. 

    Driver Chayapon Yotha from Thailand finished in first place overall over a total distance of 1,524 kilometers, including 637 kilometers of timed Special Stages, with a total time of 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 42 seconds. Driver Rifat Sungkar from Indonesia finished in fifth place, 17 minutes, and 14 seconds behind the leader.

    After a three-year hiatus, the 2022 AXCR began in Buriram, Thailand, the country’s northeast, where the rally's first Special Stages (SS) and a formal start were staged. There were Special Stages in the vicinity of Buriram from Legs 1 to 3. The rally entered Cambodia during Leg 4 of the 2022 AXCR after finishing the SS at Buriram, and Leg 5 on November 26 came to a finale at the breathtaking ceremonial endpoint close to Angkor Wat, the well-known tourist destination in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

    The first half of the rally in Thailand consisted mainly of high-speed stages on rough, dry unpaved roads, while the second half was more challenging with large, deep puddles scattered on muddy roads caused by heavy rain, and a tougher course compared to the previous five stages awaited the participants in Cambodia.

    On the first day, Chayapon Yotha, driving the car #105 Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton, came in fifth place in SS1. He improved his overall standing on the second day by setting the fastest time in SS2, this year's longest SS with a 203 km route.

    Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton

    After that, he finished SS3 in seventh place, SS4 in sixth, SS5 in fifth, and SS6 in fifth place with the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton, and he maintained the lead he had built up in SS2 to win the race overall.

    Following his partner, Rifat Sungkar, driving car #118 Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton, came in sixth place. He had higher positions in mind, but following a flat tire and accompanying chassis damage in SS2, he slipped to seventh place. He was able to continue the rally the next day thanks to the team's repair work, finishing fourth in SS3, fifth in SS4, fourth in SS5, and seventh in SS6 to finish the race in fifth place overall. This demonstrated the Mitsubishi Triton's durability.

    Sakchai Hantrakul, driver of car #119, was forced to abandon the AXCR 2022 rally after testing positive for Covid-19 after SS1.

    Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, commented: "For this year's AXCR, we built on the high reliability and durability of the Triton by tuning the engine and chassis, and entered the rally with specifications relatively close to the production car. Even so, the two Triton rally cars delivered powerful driving, and I am very proud of our high finish.

    The superb performance came down to the drivers, who were able to extract the Triton's performance and show us some great drives, the engineers who worked every day to fine-tune the vehicles perfectly, all the staff who provided support, and the know-how that Mitsubishi Motors has accumulated over the years. Key to it all was the tremendous support from our sponsors and the passionate messages of support we received from fans around the world. We would like to feed the knowledge we gained through our participation in the AXCR back into the development of production vehicles, and build Mitsubishi vehicles that are even tougher, more powerful, and more reliable."

    Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton

    Ralliart began as Mitsubishi’s performance division, and through this, the carmaker took the challenge of participating in motorsport events. Last year, Mitsubishi revived the Ralliart as a brand for the rally-inspired and factory cosmetic upgrades for its vehicles.

    From 1983 through 2009, Mitsubishi Ralliart took part in the Dakar Rally 26 times. The carmaker's main objectives were to evaluate the four-wheel drive system's endurance and enhance overall handling. They achieved an astounding total of 12 victories as a result of their participation, seven of which were consecutive.

    From 1967 to 2005 in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the basic performance of Mitsubishi standard production vehicles was put to the test over ice, snow, gravel and tarmac, ultimately including the carmaler’s Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. The technology used allowed Mitsubishi Ralliart to achieve 34 overall victories in the WRC.

    As it participated in several electric vehicle motorsports series from 2012 to 2015, Mitsubishi Ralliart undertook to test the dependability, durability, and potential for the following generation of EV mass-production technology. This was in accordance with Mitsubishi's intention to advance its technological capabilities by concentrating on high-dimensional integration of the motor drive and S-AWC system.

    As part of Mitsubishi's celebration of the return of the iconic Ralliart marque, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Triton Ralliart Edition were introduced to the Thai market last year — and were unveiled at the 2022 Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) recently. Here in the Philippines, the SUV and pickup truck are referred to as Montero Sport and Strada, respectively.

    Mitsubishi Ralliart

    The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Ralliart wears a gloss black Dynamic Shield radiator grille that is bordered by darkened bi-LED projector headlamps. The fender arch moulding, roof, tailgate spoiler, and shark fin antenna, all come with black finishing. In line with these elements, 18-inch wheels also get black treatment.

    Other Ralliart-specific features of the Pajero Sport Ralliart include red mud flaps with the Ralliart logo and red piping on the floor mats. Jet Black Mica and White Diamond are the available body colors. Both hues complement the special decals whose red and black colors possibly take inspiration from the Ralliart official colors.

    The Mitsubishi Triton Ralliart pickup, a limited-edition model, receives the same treatment as the Pajero Sport with a few extras including a Ralliart bed liner, black door mirror covers, and black door handles.

    The Triton Ralliart is available in two body types: single and double cab. The former features a head unit that is seven inches in size and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity options, while the latter retains the traditional unit. The 2.5 liter turbodiesel engine, along with a five-speed manual transmission, provides power.

    As for other versions of the Triton, what is known here as the 2022 Mitsubishi Strada features a number of notable equipment. For the Strada GLS line Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) presented this year, its Dynamic Shield fascia now has a blackened radiator grille and front under garnish. A headlight garnish was also added which blends seamlessly with the LED DRLs. On the sides, the door mirror, step board, outer handles and 18-inch alloy wheels were blacked out as well. For the finishing touches, black was also applied to the rear gate handle and step bumper.

    Mitsubishi Strada GLS

    Under the hood of the 2022 Mitsubishi Strada GLS is a 2.4-liter diesel MIVEC engine. It has been turbocharged and intercooled for a dominant performance while producing optimum fuel economy, with a rating of 18.9kpl and 181ps and 430Nm of torque.

    The Strada keeps everyone aboard relaxed and entertained. There is sufficient space in the cabin for five adults with generous legroom, as well as soft-touch and high-quality trims for a more luxurious feel. Smart storage and connectivity solutions such as front and rear smartphone trays and USB charging ports have seamlessly been integrated into the Strada cabin.

    The 2022 Mitsubishi Strada GLS is equipped with a suite of safety technologies.

    The Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC) helps the driver maintain control in slippery conditions or rapid steering maneuvers. Hill Start Assist (HSA) prevents the pickup truck from rolling back on very steep inclines, even when the brake pedal is not thoroughly stepped on. Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) detects and counters trailers being towed from swaying off course.

    For the Strada GLS 4x4 model, it is equipped with an Easy Select 4WD system that enables various driving modes. The 2H (2WD High Range) mode is used for smooth and fuel efficient cruises in highways or everyday normal drives. Meanwhile, 4H (4WD High Range) adds the Strada's stability and traction in wet roads, and lastly, 4LLc (4WD Low Range with Locked Center Differential) ensures maximum traction on all four wheels, on all types of terrain.

    Mitsubishi Strada GLS

    Meanwhile, the upper range Strada Athlete assures that its driver gets all the safety assistance available to keep himself and everyone aboard safe. Visual and auditory alerts are given by the Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) feature, while the Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) “prevents adverse pedal misapplication.”

    To avoid being surprised by vehicles falling into the driver’s blind spot, the Strada Athlete gets Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist (BSW with LCA), which alerts the driver when vehicles come behind from either side. Meanwhile, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) warns the driver when an oncoming vehicle is detected as the Strada Athlete is reversing out of a parking spot. Finally, the Multi-Around Monitor “makes parking easier with its guiding and expected course lines.”

    The carmaker is also offering in Thailand the Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart. The Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart is purely an aesthetic package, same like the other Ralliart vehicles.

    The faux-carbon fiber wheel arches, abstract sticker packs on the side, red mudguards, and black roof of the tiny subcompact hatchback give it a distinctive look. The exhaust tailpipe is chrome.

    Mitsubishi mirage ralliart

    The special Mirage, which is reminiscent of earlier Mitsubishi rally cars, is only available in White Diamond and Red Metallic. Ralliart-inspired accents are also used throughout the cabin, including carbon pieces for the dashboard and red and upholstery for the seats and door cards. Ralliart-branded floor mats complete the cabin's sporting theme.

    Photos from Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC)

    Also read: Mitsubishi Motors PH inaugurated new outlets in SM Megamall and Capitol Commons

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