In November last year, Mitsubishi unveiled the car that will spearhead its 2004 World Rally Championship campaign - the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04. A completely fresh design, the new car forms an integral part of a meticulously conceived long-term plan to build on Mitsubishi Motors' distinguished record in the World Rally Championship.
The Lancer WRC04 reflects a fresh design strategy and has been created by a new and youthful engineering team. The project has been overseen by MMSP Limited Managing Director Mario Fornaris at MMSP's base in Rugby, England. The team will treat 2004 as a learning process, in which it creates a car and a driving team ready for success in the years ahead. The coming season will be an exercise first and foremost in laying the foundations for future success.
The transmission particularly reflects MMSP's new strategy and has nothing in common with the four-wheel-drive systems used on previous Lancers. The Lancer WRC04 car will initially use a transversely mounted five-speed manual gearbox. A semi-automatic gear change is likely to be developed during 2004, once MMSP is satisfied that the Lancer WRC04 is living up to its potential, in terms of performance and durability.
The Lancer WRC04 began testing in mid-October and underwent a comprehensive development programme in readiness for its first competitive outing in Monte Carlo.
So what does everyone think?