On the same day that Proton unveiled its latest model, the Waja, Mitsubishi Motors also launched a new model in Japan known as the Lancer Cedia. This is the successor to the Lancer/Mirage range. As always, the company provides an explanation for the choice of the name – it is a combination of the words ‘CEntury’ and ‘DIAmond’.
The new model is said to ‘meet the requirements and needs of the new age’ with a new-generation package that melds together the advantages of compact dimensions with a big cabin. The Lancer Cedia measures 4,360 mm long and 1,695 mm wide, with a generous wheelbase of 2,600 mm. Despite the extended wheelbase, a larger tyre turning angle gives the new model a smaller minimum turning radius of just 4.9 metres. Kerb weight is between 1,130 kgs and 1,190 kgs.
Present engine options are 1.5 litres and 1.8 litres and both engines are the advanced GDI units which are exceptionally eco-friendly. The engines run at fairly high compression ratios, 11:1 and 12:1, respectively, and the 1.5-litre engine produces 74 kW (100 ps) while the 1.8-litre engine produces 96 kW (130 ps) of power.
The GDI engines are mated to a new INVECS-III continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and provide high-precision torque control with the broad low-consumption operating zone inherent to the GDI engine. Superior driving flexibility is afforded by the adaptive CVT’s ability to shift instantly and continuously over a wide range of gear ratios.
The 1.8-litre Lancer Cedia Touring uses the INVECS-III Sport Mode 6-speed CVT that incorporates six fixed-pulley diameters and a manual shift gate, enabling the driver to operate the transmission as a manual and select his gear of choice. In addition to the smooth operation, the Sport Mode manual-override feature delivers lag-free shifting for well-modulated performance and is ideally suited to the enthusiast driver.
In the Japanese 10-15 urban driving pattern, models powered by the 4G15 1.5-litre GDI engine return 17.6 kms/litre (50 mpg), while models powered by the 4G93 1.8-litre GDI engine return 16.2 kms/litre (46mpg), figures claimed to top their respective classes in fuel efficiency.
The cars has universal MacPherson strut front suspension which is optimized to extract the full handling and straight-line stability benefits of the arrangement. Stiffer lower arms help suppress vibration and optimization of roll centre height has improved tire grip, reduced roll and improved straightline stability. The rear suspension uses a trailing arm-type multi-link arrangement. The length and linkage points of all arms and links have been carefully chosen to optimize alignment changes. The addition of a rear stabilizer bar on the 1.8 litre Touring model offers sportier and more responsive performance.
Standard on all models is Mitsubishi’s RISE (Realized Impact Safety Evolution) body that is said to combine an energy-absorbing front section with a strong and rigid occupant cell to provide superior crash protection. The RISE safety body provides omni-directional protection, meeting European 64 km/h deformable barrier requirements for offset-front crashes, Japanese 55km/h requirements for front and for side crashes, and 50km/h requirements for rear end crashes.
The front seats are designed to offer better protection in the event of a rear end collision. The head restraint location is optimized to mitigate whiplash injuries; the seat back frame is located further back, and the stiffness of the seat back cushion is intended to provide positive benefits.
In Japan, the monthly sales target is 3,000 units and prices range from ¥1,238,000 (RM43,300) to ¥1,860,000 (RM65,100).
As Proton seems to have stopped cloning the Lancer series, it is unlikely that we’ll see a Proton version. However, this new model should be on Malaysian roads soon as private importers must now be placing their orders.