Mitsubishi Ffv Coming to the U.s

By: Lauren Woods

The struggling Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors is known for its Mitsubishi Montero - a sports utility vehicle that it marketed in the United States. In recent years though, the Montero did not appear in the United States auto market. But for those who are looking for a new version of the Montero which is known in other markets as the Pajero, Mitsubishi has announced that a new model of the SUV is already being developed.

According to the fifth largest Japanese car manufacturer, the Mitsubishi Montero will be receiving a new model called the TR4 Flex. The said Montero variant will be sold in Brazil by July this year. According to the car manufacturer, the TR4 Flex will be the first flex fuel, four-wheel drive vehicle.

The flex fuel Montero, according to Mitsubishi will be powered by a 2.0-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine. The said powerplant is designed to operate on pure gasoline, pure bioethanol, or any mixture of the two fuels. A vehicle such as this is not yet being marketed in the United States due to the safety questions to using pure ethanol.

Since Brazil is the biggest produced of bioethanol, it makes sense that Mitsubishi should market the vehicle in the country. The vehicle though will be making its appearance in the United States by the fiscal year 2009. Whether the vehicle will be equipped with the same engine that comes with it in Brazil is yet to be announced by the Japanese car manufacturer.

The Montero will be marketed in Brazil as the Pajero. The SUV will be making its appearance in the Brazilian market after Toyota also announced that they will be introducing a flex-fuel Corolla in the Brazilian auto market.

According to Mitsubishi, the TR4 Flex features some modifications. Different materials will be used on the construction of the new Pajero/Montero compared to its forerunner. The engine, of course, is modified to make it compatible with bioethanol.

Changes have to be made to an engine before it can operate using bioethanol as fuel. Due to the corrosive nature of the alternative fuel, several components need to be fortified. Engine parts which need to be strengthened to take on the corrosive nature of bioethanol are the valve guides, the cylinder walls, the fuel tank and other metal components which come in contact with the fuel.

According to Mitsubishi, the 2.0-liter engine when running on pure gasoline can produce as much as 131 horsepower and 117 Nm of torque. While running on pure ethanol, the engine can produce as much as 132 horsepower and 186 Nm of torque. The disparity in power output is due to the fact higher compression ratio is needed to combust ethanol. This produces more torque than gasoline where lower compression ratio is needed. Generally though, ethanol engines provide a similar power output to gasoline engines. The engine that will be used by the Montero/Pajero can produce more power and consume less fuel if it is complemented by a .

The development of the flex-fuel vehicle is Mitsubishi's response to the growing call for auto manufacturers to develop more fuel efficient and environment friendly vehicles. Whether the Montero FFV will be welcomed by American car buyers is still a question that would need an answer.

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