Mitsubishi’s Ralliart history comes alive in this short film

Mitsubishi Motors has produced a short film covering its rallying history. In this 10-minute short film, engineers from Mitsubishi’s WRC program reminisce about what got them into rallying and their passion for the sport. They discuss important Mitsubishi rally cars, now carefully preserved, many of which have been gathered together in a very rare joint appearance.

The video begins with Yasuo Tanaka, an engineer who worked on body development for Mitsubishi’s WRC team, describing how he grew up wanting to be involved with rallying ever since seeing the original Lancer 1600GSR. He describes how the fourth-gen Lancer was an 1.8-liter family car, and the road to making it a competitive rally car seemed insurmountable. Tanaka says that though he received strong opposition, eventually he got approval from within the company and the Lancer Evolution was born.

Itsuo Koda, who once headed WRC engine development, began his career on the 1981 Lancer Turbo, then worked on the 4WD Starion for Group B. He talks about how the team made incremental improvements to the 4G63 — first a turbo, then intercooler, then water spray — each of which was made available to the public on the production Evo. He believes that these homologated cars being accessible to customers contributed to its success.

Yoshihiko Ototake headed body development for Dakar Rally, but before he joined Mitsubishi he was already the company’s WRC races. He recalls how hard they worked to make the Mitsubishi Pajero synonymous with Dakar over an unprecedented 12 times, all the while keeping the car as true as possible to the road-going version, especially the front-midship layout.

The story then shifts to Mitsubishi’s more recent campaigns, hosted by younger engineers talking about Pikes Peak in an electric racer and Baja Portugal with the meanest Outlander PHEV you’ve ever seen. Finally, there’s the renewed Ralliart’s team efforts with the new Triton at the Asia Cross-Country Rally.

The video offers some connective tissue between the time of WRC and Dakar and the new age of electrified racers and the current era of the Trition holding down the fort. There isn’t a ton, but even the senior Tanaka admits there’s more to the plug-in Outlander than he originally thought. Seeing him and the older engineers lovingly look over machines from the glory days brings a tear to our eye.

This post is filed under: motorsport and
tagged: , , , , , .

2 Responses to Mitsubishi’s Ralliart history comes alive in this short film

  1. athula wilson says:

    an auto maker on a serious back foot, in survival mode , really sad

  2. Franz Wilder says:

    Very interesting. I owned a Mitsubishi Montero 1999, V-6 3.500 and I love my car.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *