Mitsubishi Lancer 2000 Turbo + Homologation Version

Lancer 2000 Turbo - FIN.jpg
Mitsubishi Colt Lancer 2000 EX Turbo (A176A)

Mitsubishi, encouraged with the past rallying successes of the Group 2 Lancer 1600 GSR, wanted to get more serious and develop a Group 4 rally car to compete at the top level. Launched exclusively for the Europe market in 1980, the new rear wheel drive Lancer EX 2000 Turbo would be the perfect contender. The new rally car was aimed to compete with the Ford Escort, Fiat 131, and Opel Ascona. To spearhead this effort, Mitsubishi established RalliArt and put rally legend Andrew Cowan in charge.

lancer-colt-2000-promo

Power for the car would come in the form of the new turbocharged 4G63 Sirius-series 1997cc engine. Compared to its lesser brethren, this engine used electronic fuel injection (EFI). More importantly, the Lancer 2000 Turbo was the first rally car ever to use an electronic control unit (ECU). This brand new technology of the time controlled nearly all engine functions and settings such as ignition, fuel injection, and turbocharger boost. This allowed the engine to produce up to 280 HP with a very beefy torque curve of 337 lb-ft (much more torque than its competitors).

lancer-2000-turbo-drawing

The new Lancer Group 4 rally car, sporting a striking white and orange livery, was launched at the 1981 Acropolis rally in Greece. The car was certainly performing well and were very fast in straight lines but also had reliability issues. These problems, albeit they could be considered minor, came often; clutch, alternator, suspension. The team wasn’t much worried as all new rally cars go through such a “teething” phase. As such, Mitsubishi was hopeful for the Lancer’s international rallying career.

However, as it is often credited with killing the traditional rear wheel drive use in rallying, the four wheel drive Audi quattro proved to be ever tougher to beat and pushed many manufacturers back to the drawing board. Furthermore, the FISA had just announced the creation of a new class, Group B, which would push the boundaries of traditional production cars to the limits. As such, Mitsubishi largely scaled down their ambitions and only entered the Lancer in select high publicity events. The car’s best ever WRC finish would come at the 1982 Thousand Lakes rally in Finland where it finished an incredible 3rd.

Lancer 2000 Turbo.jpg

As with most of the Group 4 cars which were still in production, the Lancer EX 2000 Turbo was re-homologated into Group B at the start of 1983. Due to poor results, Mitsubishi would abandon international rally competition at the end of that year’s season in favor of developing their own four wheel drive Group B weapon, the Starion 4WD Rally. However, many privateers would continue to rally the Lancer in various national venues.

SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class B/12 Homologations:

  • # 675 (Group 4)
  • # B-230 (Group B)
  • click # to see papers
Years Active 1981~1983 Homologation start:

  • April 1st 1981 (Group 4)
  • January 1st 1983 (Group B)

Homologation end:

  • December 31st 1988
Engine
Type 4G63, I-4, SOHC 12v, gas located front longitudinal
Displacement 1997 cc WRC x 1.4 = 2796 cc
Compression ratio 7.9:1
Output power – torque 280 HP @ 7000 rpm 337 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Materials block: N/A cylinder head: N/A
Aspiration
  • MHI turbocharger
  • Bosch electronic fuel injection
boost: 14 psi
Ignition ECU controlled
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive 5 speed manual
Gearbox ratios
  • N/A
  • N/A
Differential ratio 3.55
  • N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type
  • Steel monocoque chassis, 4 door sedan design, fiberglass/rubber arch extensions, and rubber rear spoiler
Front suspension McPherson struts, coil springs
Rear suspension Live axle, trailing link, coil springs
Steering system recirculating ball N/A
Brakes
  • Front: vented discs
  • Rear: solid discs
N/A
Dimensions
length: 4220 mm (166.1 in) width: 1620 mm (63.8 in) height: 1390 mm (54.7 in)
wheelbase: 2440 mm (96.1 in) front track: 1365 mm (53.8 in) rear track: 1355 mm (53.4 in)
Rims – tires N/A
Dry/Unladen Weight 1040 kg (2290 lbs)
Weight/power 3.7 kg/HP (8.2 lbs/HP)
Fuel tank N/A

HOMOLOGATION VERSION SUMMARY

1982-1988-mitsubishi-lancer-2000-turbo.jpg
1982 Mitsubishi Lancer EX 2000 Turbo

Also known as the Colt in some markets, the Lancer EX 2000 Turbo model was exclusive to the Europe market. It featured the classic rear wheel drive layout and was powered by the first version of the now legendary 4G63 engine (of Lancer Evolution fame). It was homologated in Group 4 which required a minimum of 400 units to be produced.

Colt-Lancer EX 2000T brochure.jpeg

The 2000 Turbo could be ordered from the factory with various liveries, including one that mimicked the rally car, and also featured a mirrored “2000 Turbo” decal on the front bumper cover to make it visible to the drivers it came up from behind with!

SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class Compact RWD 4 door sedan
Production 1981~1982 # built: 500+ (rumored)
Engine
Type 4G63, I-4, SOHC 12v, gas located front longitudinal
Displacement 1997 cc
Compression ratio 7.6:1
Output power – torque 170 HP @ 5500 rpm 181 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Materials block: N/A cylinder head: N/A
Aspiration
  • MHI turbocharger
  • Bosch electronic fuel injection
boost: N/A
Ignition ECU controlled
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive 5 speed manual
Gearbox ratios
  • N/A
  • N/A
Differential ratio 3.55
  • N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type Steel monocoque chassis, 4 door sedan design, rubber rear spoiler
Front suspension McPherson struts, coil springs
Rear suspension Live axle, trailing link, coil springs
Steering system recirculating ball N/A
Brakes
  • Front: vented discs
  • Rear: solid discs
N/A
Dimensions
length: 4225 mm (166.3 in) width: 1610 mm (63.4 in) height: 1390 mm (54.7 in)
wheelbase: 2438 mm (96.0 in) front track: 1334 mm (52.5 in) rear track: 1328 mm (52.3 in)
Rims – tires N/A
Curb Weight 1050 kg (2320 lbs)  bias: F55/R45%
Weight/power 6.2 kg/HP (13.6 lbs/HP)
Fuel tank 50 litres

ROAD CAR TEST ARTICLE

From the January 1982 issue of MotorSport Magazine (abridged)

The Colt Lancer 2000 Turbo

Impressively fast and eminently practical

THE rally-inspired Turbocharged version of the well-known Colt Lancer is a most exciting proposition, yet it is a perfectly road-usable four-door family saloon. Its performance, particularly in respect of straight-line acceleration, is inspiring indeed. Ford advertises, and rightly, that their Capri 2.8i goes like lightning. But this 1,997 c.c. Colt Lancer Turbo outpaces that excellent Ford injection coupe in almost all accelerative exercises. From 0-60 m.p.h. it is more than a second quicker, over a s.s. 1/4-mile the Japanese car gets there over half-a-second sooner, and it is the same with most of the intermediate-speed pick-up figures, except that the Colt should be in fourth, not filth, gear, the latter a refinement Ford has not yet introduced. Couple this lightning acceleration with the Colt’s top speed of 124 m.p.h., which is admittedly a few m.p.h. slower than a flat-out Capri 2.8i can achieve, and its docile running under less intense circumstances. and this compact Lancer Turbo represents a very fine all-round car.

Turbocharging has boosted the power output from the 85 x 88 mm. four-cylinder engine to a respectable 168 (DIN) b.h.p. at a modest 5,500 r.p.m. (you to ‘into the red” at 6,000 r.p.m.), and the torque developed at 3.500 r.p.m is 181 ft./lb., by the same test-house measurement. The engine has an iron cylinder block and an alloy head with belt-driven o.h.-camshaft. The turbocharger is fed by Mitsubishi-Bosch fuel-injection, electronically controlled, there are five main bearings, and to humour the boost-pressure the compression-ratio is lowered to 7.6 to I. Otherwise. this Colt Lancer reminded me of the not-too-recently-discontinued rear-drive Ford Escort. Except, of course, that the proud turbocharged version has a rear spoiler, a deep front air dam with vents to the brakes and a useful front tow-hook, reverse-read dayglow “2000 Turbo” decal on that air dam, and other outward reminders that this is not a car to be trifled with.

This exceedingly quick Colt is like any other modern small saloon. The seats are comfortable, in spite of a shallow cushion in the driver’s seat, the instrumentation is easy to read, except tor the little Turbo boost-gauge down on the central console, the clutch light, the gear charge nice and only moderately notchy, and the amenities admirable. The engine started at once, hot or cold, but the auto-choke causes it to idle for a while at around 1,500 r.p.m., before it settles down at 750 r.p.m. You can either use the aforesaid quite exceptional acceleration (0-100 m.p.h. in 18.7 sec., 70 to 90 m.p.h. in top gear in 5.3 sec., are but two eyebrow-raising examples) for exhilarating “squirts” along straight roads or employ it for safe, very usable, passing in hunched traffic. The engine is but a four cylinder, but its balance is helped by Colt’s unusual counter-nitrating balance weights geared to the crankshaft, and although there is a resonant period low down the rev-scale and some roughness, as speed increases this becomes a notably smooth-running power-unit. The urge comes in from about 3,500 r.p.m. and thereafter the pick-up, as I have said, is enormously impressive, and most enjoyably! Provided the engine is permitted to get its revs., power is released in a smooth flow, with no noticeable turbo-lag.

A car of this performance requires other complementary factors to render it pleasant to drive. The Lancer’s suspension, with a live back axle sprung on coil springs, damped with gas-filled struts and located by no fewer than four trailing-links, and front springing by MacPherson struts, gives some up and down liveliness, and the rougher roads can induce some rear-end dance; but on the whole the Turbo Lancer is easy to control, with only mild understeer into corners. The manual recirculating-ball steering with a small four-spoke wheel is geared four turns, lock-to-lock, and is perfectly acceptable. The servo disc / drum braking likewise, these being light and responsive.

The deeply-hooded instrument panel before the driver contains speedometer with decimal trip and total odometers, tachometer, heat, fuel. oil-pressure and alternator-charge gauges, casually calibrated, with a digital clock boxed into the centre of the fascia. The slow-to-read but steady-needled fuel-gauge was irritating, because it nudged the “empty” line when the 11-gallon tank was nearly half full — so after using the Lancer Turbo’s magnificent performance to set up rather remarkable average speeds, we were forced to re-fuel after about 170 miles or thereabouts. However, there is a fuel-low-level light and thus the owner of this fascinating car need not be curbed in this way. Indeed, there is even a warning light to tell you when the windscreen-washer bottle needs replenishing.

The gaitered gear lever has fifth-gear location on the right, forward opposite reverse, the latter gear engaged by depressing the lever, so there is no difficulty over gear engagement, and the lever’s lateral movements are minimal. Two substantial steering column stalk controls work the lamps with a twist-action from the right one, the labelled screen-wiper permutations from the left-hand one, turns being signaled with the r.h. stalk, with the horn-push part of the steering wheel spokes. Instrument lighting can be fully dimmed or doused with a fascia knob and a very big knob on the extreme right of the panel looks after the rear fog-lamps and is such that these can hardly be overlooked, so that Colt drivers should not be among those morons who use such rear illumination when there is no fog about. . . . A neat push-on, push-off button controls rear-window heating and there is a typical Japanese, much captioned, four-lever heater ventilator control, which gives good combinations of occupants’ requirements, five pages of the instruction-book explaining how to accomplish this. A full set of rear-view mirrors is provided and stowages include front-door pockets, a non-lockable cubby with a slide-catch. I.h. underfascia shelf, an open well and coin-carrier on the central console, and two open protruding dishes before the driver. There is a lipped shelf on top of the dash and the cubby lid has a flap-concealed recess for some mysterious purpose. The Japanese must carry a lot of parcels!

The boot, which needs a key to open it, looks small, because the covered spare wheel is mounted vertically on its front wall, but it is nearly as capacious as that of the Ford Capri with its rear seats up. The test car was on 185 / 65 HR14 Pirelli P6 Cinturato radial-ply tubeless tyres. Recessed anti-dazzle vizors, cigarette lighter, clutch foot-rest, lever-set adjustable steering-column rake, hazard warning-lamp switch on the steering-column. Stanley halogen headlamps (but not the high-mounted Hella lamps of the earlier cars), velour upholstery and adjustable front-seat squabs are all part of the package, and the Turbocharged Lancer has an increased radiator capacity, an oil-cooler, and an aluminised exhaust system. I liked the black paint finish, and the good-looking alloy wheels. The internal door handles are a fraction far back, causing some drivers to try to open the driver’s door by pushing on the surround and the slide-control for this seat is at the side. The driver’s mat tended to ruck up. If the doors are opened when the ‘car’s lights are on, a warning-light shows, which seems adequate, and to me preferable to the Mazda bell or the Mercedes-Benz buzzer. Room in the Colt’s back compartment is adequate if not generous and the interior practical but not exactly plush.

Heavy fuel thirst might well be expected, as a penalty of the Lancer Turbo’s splendid performance, so I was pleased to obtain 26.5 m.p.g. on an average-fast long cross-country journey and 21.2 m.p.g. on a faster dash, four up, the overall consumption, after some rather fast driving, did 23.3 m.p.g.; careful users might do 29 m.p.g. The fuel-filler is on the near-side, covered by a lockable flap. The rear-hinged bonnet lid requires propping open. Its release is on the correct side within the car. The oil dip-stick removes easily but was difficult to reinsert in its tube. The number plates are high set, perhaps an inheritance from rally participation.

This very enjoyable Colt Lancer Turbo scorns expensively priced at £8,899, especially as it lacks central door-locking, electric windows, etc. But before you condemn it as too costly, drive it! You will then find that your journey times are appreciably reduced, I think, at the expense ol some driver-concentration. This super-quick Colt usually wants to be 20 m.p.h. faster than it should be on A-roads and it does 100 m.p.h. all too easily if shown a Motorway!  — W.B.

SOURCE: (C) MotorSport Magazine – January 1982 (used under permission)

To read more about Group B related articles on MotorSport Magazine please visit their archives: http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive


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(C) Rally car article, homologation car summary, & specifications by Jay Auger – website owner & author

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  • All homologation papers are the property of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA): SOURCE
  • Eifel Rallye Festival Pictures used under permission – McKlein Publishing

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