Mitsubishi Lancer Racing

Mitsubishi Racing newest racing prototype called the Lancer Racing is set to take on next year's legendary and dangerous Dakar Rally. But before it can get its tires dirty in the Dakar, the off-roader will take the stage in Paris where it will join its production run brethren.

Although essentially a new truck, the Lancer Sportback based racer is powered by a reworked and more responsive 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 derived from the outgoing competition model. Upgraded turbos have been designed to raise the power upward of 260 hp and 479 lb-ft torque as well as aid in the unit's overall race reliability. A multitubular frame along with carbon-fiber bodywork ensures the Lancer stays strong and light, and at 4188 lb it should have no problem hurtling over anything in its path. Revisions to the engine compartment enhance the diesel's cooling and performance. Joined to the powertrain is a Ricardo built five-speed sequential transmission, limited-slip differential, and the necessary permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Mitsubishi's engineers and drivers under the Team Repsol banner all have high expectations for the beefed-up car and plan on conquering some of the most formidable off-road races around the world. After its engagement in Paris, the Lancer Racing is slated to make its racing debut in late November at the sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup in Portugal.