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Mitsubishi Colt cabio coming

Imminent: Colt cabrio pricing should open at around $33,000.

Mitsubishi's new canvertible Colt is set for an October debut Down Under

3 Aug 2006

WITH dust from the Ralliart Colt barely settled, Mitsubishi Australia is charging forward with its first ex-factory four-seater convertible light car.

Based on the current RG Colt range, the new Colt Cabriolet is due to arrive in time for Sydney’s Australian International Motor Show in October.

As is the case with rivals such as the Peugeot 206 CC and Holden Tigra coupe-convertibles, the Mitsubishi features a steel roof that folds neatly into the boot.

Likewise, the decapitated Colt will be priced in the same ballpark as its rivals. Expect it to kick off from about $33,000.

At this level, the Mitsubishi will cost the same as the 206 CC 1.6, while undercutting the Tigra by $2000 – which, significantly, is a two-seater only proposition against the others’ 2+2 occupant layout.

Imported from Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina’s assembly plant in Bairo, near Turin, the Colt Cabriolet will be sold in two distinct model guises – a 1460kg 1.5-litre MIVEC four-cylinder base car, as well as a 1530kg Cabriolet Turbo.

Power and torque outputs are 80kW at 6000rpm and 145Nm at 4000rpm for the German-built base car, and 110kW at 6000rpm and 210Nm at 3500rpm for the Japanese-sourced turbo.

The Turbo’s projected price should be around $37,990 – the same Peugeot asks for its 206 CC 2.0, powered by a 100kW 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

21 center imageHowever, unlike the 206 CC, Mitsubishi has no option but to only sell the five-speed manual Colt Cabriolet, as no automatic gearbox is available on this model for now.

The same fate has befallen the Tigra, and sales suffer as a result.

Interestingly, the Cabriolet’s European origin means it features a completely redesigned interior and trim compared to the Japanese-made Colt hatchbacks we see in Australia.

Equipment levels will be competitive, with both including dual front and side airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, four-wheel disc brakes, air-conditioning, power windows, remote central locking and a power-operated roof mechanism.

The Turbo will add stability control, traction control, a dedicated bodykit, and larger alloy wheels to its armoury.

It also gains a host of mechanical and structural upgrades consistent with the Turbo’s higher performance aspirations. These run to an eight per cent faster steering ratio, stiffer and reinforced suspension and settings, larger brakes and shorter ratio gearing.

If the Colt Cabriolet ends up being a success in Australia, and Mitsubishi is counting on at least 50 per month (with 20 made up of the Turbo), it will give the Adelaide-based company the clout to convince head office to develop an automatic-gearbox version.

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