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Mitsubishi showcases where it’s best at with revival of Ralliart

Mitsubishi showcases where it’s best at with revival of Ralliart

Tessa R. Salazar

Diamonds are one of the hardest, toughest solids on Earth. Still, the toughest can get tougher. The best can get better. Just add some more “pressure”.

This is what Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp (MMPC) is conveying as it showcases the best of its rally heritage, and the vision of its motoring future, at the ongoing 8th Philippine International Motor Show at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, which is on its final day today.

The three-diamond marque, the offspring of the giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, made automotive history by introducing Japan’s first series production automobile in 1917. It subsequently became popular for its decades of innovation in building 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and demonstrated its prowess in international rallies from the 1960s onwards. It took on the World Rally Championship and Paris Dakar Rally with gusto, and its many achievements on roads unpaved became the technological foundations of many of its vehicles in mainstream production.

Apart from its vehicles emerging with flying colors from the pressures exerted by the punishing trails, Mitsubishi as a corporate entity also endured the pressures of global economic competition, forging productive ties with other key industry players. Openness has been its strength.

Mitsubishi’s willingness to cater to international lifestyles has also been the defining trait of the brand over the generations. Automotive historian Paolo Tumminelli, author of “Car Design Asia: Myths, Brands, People”, explained this adaptability by citing the varied designs, forms, and functions Mitsubishi adopted in its vehicles, from the 1978 Colt, a compact car with a European appeal, through the Pajero off-roader and the Space Wagon van, to the Lancer Evolution rally fighter series—whose later iteration was designed by Pininfarina.

At the 8th PIMS, visitors to the dynamic Mitsubishi booth will also get a feel of the carmaker’s proud heritage in technology, versatility, and most especially in motorsport. Alongside its Xpander, which has been its most popular model thus far, is the centerpiece display for its high-performance and motorsports division, Ralliart. Also at the MMPC booth is the Outlander Plug-in hybrid vehicle with a demo of vehicle-to-home energy ecosystem.

Mitsubishi’s Ralliart is the iconic motorsports brand that has refined the driving performance and style of Mitsubishi vehicles through the years. For over 50 years, the Ralliart brand has fueled Mitsubishi enthusiasts all over the world. It is the heritage brand of Mitsubishi Motors that has honed its driving performance and styling in the harsh fields of the World Rally Championship and the Paris-Dakar Rally.

MMPC—with more than 50 years of local automotive history tucked under its belt—rolls out its big gun by featuring the Strada Rally Car to sport the spirit of Ralliart at the show. The Strada Rally Car is Mitsubishi’s official entry to the 27th Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) happening from November 21 to 26.

Dubbed as the toughest rally competition in Asia, the course starts from Buriram, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia—a grueling 2,000-km cross-country rally that races through the naturally rugged terrain of Southeast Asia. AXCR has been designed as a test of driving and navigation skill, endurance and teamwork, as well as durability and toughness of 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

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With Mitsubishi’s impeccable track record in international rallies, the carmaker is supremely confident that the Strada Rally Car will continue the carmaker’s legacy in this motorsport. Still, nothing is left to chance. Back in Thailand, Team Ralliart has been conducting rigorous tests on the rally car in an undisclosed off-road course.
Mitsubishi’s participation in the 8th PIMS also drums up this excitement, coupled with the launch of the new Strada and Montero Sport Ralliart edition.

The new Strada Ralliart edition is equipped with exclusive Ralliart components as a tribute to Mitsubishi’s rich rally heritage.

Based on the Strada GLS, this model comes with: Ralliart-branded front bumper garnish, rear bumper garnish, mud flaps, side decals, bed liner, and floor mats. MMPC revealed that the new Strada Ralliart edition is priced at P1,429,000. The new Montero Sport Ralliart edition, for its part, bears a sportier and imposing presence while maintaining its classy stature.

Based on the Montero Sport GLS Black Series, this model comes with Ralliart-branded front bumper garnish, rear bumper garnish, mud flaps, side decals, floor mats, and Fender arc moulding. The New Montero Sport Ralliart Edition is priced at P2,122,000. Both the New Strada and Montero Sport Ralliart edition models come in two colors: Jet Black Mica and White Diamond (add P15,000).