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Mitsubishi launches 380 LPG

It's a gas: LPG-powered 380 offers the same 175kW of peak power.

Mitsu undercuts both Falcon and Commodore with its LPG 380, without power loss

24 Jul 2007

MITSUBISHI has joined Ford and Holden in offering the option of LPG power for its Australian-made large sedan.

Unlike the Ford Falcon's dedicated E-Gas system, Mitsubishi Motors Australia's new 380 Series III LPG option is a dual-fuel system like that offered with Holden's VZ/VE Commodore.

Covered by Mitsubishi's 10-year new car warranty, thr 380 MkIII's factory-backed LPG Autogas system retains the 380's unleaded petrol fuel system, and adds an Impco BRC Sequent 56 LPG system as a $4050 option.

As with Falcon and Commodore, private motorists qualify for a $2000 Federal Government rebate after purchasing a new LPG-equipped 380 Series III, under the LPG Vehicle Scheme.

Mitsubishi says the 380 Series III's driveability difference between fuels is said to be virtually indistinguishable and if the vehicle runs out of Autogas it automatically changes to petrol.

21 center imageRefuelling the LPG tank, which is mounted in the boot, is performed via a filler housed behind the car's petrol filler flange, while a fuel selector switch is on the instrument panel and the engine management components are in the engine bay.

Co-developed by Mitsubishi and Impco, the $4050 dual-fuel LPG option is available across the sedan-only 380 range, starting with the $30,990 ES automatic. Before rebates, an LPG-equipped 380 ES auto costs $35,040.

That's $2350 less than Falcon's entry-level E-Gas Falcon sedan, which is a further $1000 less than Holden's VE Omega LPG sedan.

In the Falcon's case, E-Gas is available in BF Series II XT, Futura and Fairmont sedan guise, plus in the XT and Futura wagon and XL, XLS, RTV and XR6 ute.

It adds just $1400 to the price of the $35,990 Falcon XT auto sedan, making the Falcon XT E-Gas auto sedan $37,390.

Over at Holden, the VE Omega and Berlina sedan, the base VZ ute and VZ Acclaim wagon are available with a $3900 LPG option. On the $34,490 VE Omega auto, that makes Holden's LPG sedan entry price $38,390 (plus air-conditioning).

What's more, the 380 LPG retains the standard 3.8-litre V6 petrol car's full 175kW of power output. The LPG Omega's 3.6-litre V6 delivers 175kW at 6000rpm instead of 180kW at the same revs for the standard petrol model, and 325Nm at 2600rpm instead of 330Nm at the same revs.

In the E-Gas Falcon's case, power drops substantially from 190kW at 5250rpm to 156kW at 5000rpm, while peak torque also takes a dive, from 383Nm at 2500rpm to 370Nm at 2750rpm.

Toyota is yet to produce an LPG version of its homegrown Aurion large sedan.

"We haven't heavily promoted LPG until now," said MMAL president and CEO, Robert McEniry. "The 380 engine has been LPG-adaptable, but we didn't have a conversion that had the full backing of the company.

"The new 380 Series III LPG system, however, is a fully endorsed and approved factory option for all automatic transmission models." MMAL product and project manager James Tol said the LPG 380 underwent rigorous internal safety and reliability testing, as well as ADR and emissions testing.

"We have taken great care in preparing this package to ensure that Mitsubishi's stringent system performance expectations and legislative requirements have been met.

"This has included a comprehensive crash test program to ensure passenger protection from the additional components. We are confident of the LPG system's safety and durability.

"The Sequent 56 LPG system features the latest refinements in fuel vapour injection technology and allows us to deliver fuel cost savings and environmental benefits without any loss in peak power.

"This is good news for consumers, particularly given the current economic conditions of high fuel prices and government rebates for LPG fitment.

"Combined with the 380's already low entry-level price, an LPG-equipped 380 provides unsurpassed value for money." Industry development manager for peak body LPG Australia, Phil Westlake, said Australian motorists would embrace a third Australian large-car LPG option in the face of rising petrol prices.

"Selling for less than half the price of petrol, Autogas is an environmentally responsible way for families and businesses to make easy savings at the bowser," he said.

"Mitsubishi's formal adoption of Autogas in the new 380 reflects the weight of motorist demand for an affordable, available, low-emission fuel."

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