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Next Magna to out-power Commodore

Magnanimous: Graphic artist Norm Robinson's impression of the 2005 Magna replacement.

Mitsubishi’s next generation Magna should offer a Commodore-beating 192kW MIVEC V6

28 Jul 2004

NEXT year’s all-new Magna replacement will be powered by a MIVEC version of Pajero’s 3.8-litre 24-valve V6, which GoAuto sources indicate will out-perform even Commodore’s top-shelf Alloytec 190 engine by delivering about 192kW of power.

To be based on Mitsubishi USA’s front-drive Galant platform and certain to lose its long-standing Magna nameplate, the medium-sized sedan – on sale in October 2005 – will employ Mitsubishi’s clever new variable inlet valve timing system as seen on the new Grandis and facelifted Outlander.

But while the Japanese-sourced engine will give the new-look Magna a much-needed image boost over Ford’s 182kW Falcon – a BAII version of which is due in September – and Holden’s forthcoming 175kW VZ Commodore (high-series versions of which will employ a 190kW engine), it is not the only new powerplant due from the triple-diamond brand.

GoAuto believes a 165kW turbo-diesel is also in the struggling Japanese company’s pipeline – and it may power the Magna replacement as well as future Pajeros.

Pajero is currently powered by a 3.8-litre petrol V6 producing 150kW at 5000rpm and 314Nm of torque at 3250rpm, as well a 3.2-litre inline DOHC four-cylinder direct-injection turbo-diesel that delivers 121kW at 3800rpm and a handy 373Nm at just 2000rpm.

The new oil-burner is said to blow even this current performance to pieces and, in conjunction with the MIVEC V6, could spell the end of the new Magna’s chances of being blessed with V8 power.

Australia may also be graced by a turbocharged version of Colt, based on the CZT concept

In the meantime, Mitsubishi will wheel out an updated model year 2005 Magna with less offensive, colour-coded headlight back-grounds in September – the same month the new Colt five-door and MY2005 versions of Pajero and Challenger go on sale.

A Lancer wagon will also be one of six new products to go on sale in just five months. There will be a further batch of up to 100 Lancer Evo VIII sedans in February, when Mitsubishi becomes eligible under the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme to import more.

Further afield, a three-door Colt based on the CZ3 concept to be revealed at the Paris motor show will be launched around the time of the new Magna’s release in October next year – and Australia may also be graced by a turbocharged version of Colt, based on the CZT concept also due to appear in Paris.

It is believed an all-new Outlander SUV, due within two years, will grow in size substantially, forcing Challenger out of the market and heading closer in philosophy to Pajero, the redesigned version of which is also expected to bulk up.

Alas, the Outlander turbo to be revealed at Paris will only be built in left-hand drive, although it is still possible the Japanese market’s 2.0-litre turbocharged Ralliart Airtrek could be sold here if Mitsubishi meets its significantly lower Outlander sales targets.

What's coming from Mitsubishi:

Facelifted Outlander LS/XLS – August
New Outlander VR-X variant – September
New Colt hatch – September
MY2005 Pajero update – September
MY2005 Challenger update – September
MY2005 Magna update – September
New Lancer wagon – November
More Lancer Evo VIIIs – February 2005
New Colt three-door/turbo – September 2005
Magna replacement – October 2005
New Outlander – September 2006
New Pajero – September 2006

Magna US exports chopped

EXPORTS of the Adelaide-built Mitsubishi Magna to the US have been stopped as the model sales plunge into free-fall.

The last shipment of Diamantes was sent about four weeks ago, after exports started in 1992.

While Mitsubishi Australia concedes the decision is a blow, it had been expected for some time and had been accounted for.

"It adds to a challenging environment," said Mitsubishi Australia spokesman Charles Iles.

"It takes some useful volume away from our manufacturing operation and we would have certainly liked to have seen it go a bit longer." Diamante sales have been hurt by new generation Galant being roughly equivalent in size and a much newer car.

Ironically, the Galant also forms the basis for the next generation Magna replacement due to start production in Adelaide late in 2005.

Mitsubishi Australia now expects to export no more than 6000 cars in 2004, compared to almost 10,000 in 2003.

A record 18,000 Diamantes were shipped to the US in 2002.

To the end of June 2571 Diamantes had been sold in the US, down 54.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2003.

The Diamante is not the only casualty, with the Japanese-built Montero Sport (Challenger here) also axed.

Magna sales in Australia are also dramatically down in 2004 as the car’s age, controversial re-styling and speculation over the company’s local future bite hard.

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