This is not the rally-racing successor to the Lancer Evolution we imagined.
Mitsubishi became famous in the early nineties for its success on the international rally stage, but it has been quite some time since it last won a title. The Japanese manufacturer has produced rally legends such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and Starion, and have even turned a humble Outlander PHEV into a hardcore rally monster, but now they've come up with a first for the brand: the world's first rally MPV crossover based on the Mitsubishi XPANDER AP4. This car will follow in the footsteps of the legendary Pajero rally car and is sent to take part in its first rally event before the end of 2020.
After launching the XPANDER rally team in 2019, Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Sales Indonesia (MMKSI) became the official distributor of Mitsubishi light commercial and passenger vehicles in Indonesia and has since prepared the car for its first trial at the Tembong Jaya circuit, Serang, Banten in July 2020. "Our collaboration with the XRT team in realizing the first modified seven-seater MPV crossover and joining the AP4 Rally continues even in the midst of the challenging conditions; MMKSI and XRT remain committed to preparing the Mitsubishi XPANDER AP4 for national and international rallies," says Naoya Nakamura, President Director of MMKSI.
The XPANDER rally car has gone through gravel tests for the first time, with Mitsubishi Motors Indonesia Brand Ambassador, Rifat Sungkar, saying: "I was satisfied with our first trial of our Mitsubishi XPANDER AP4 at the Tembong Jaya Circuit, Serang. During 100 km of testing, we received authentic data about every aspect of the vehicle's performance, in the car - from the engine and transmission to the suspension and chassis." The car is expected to be tested on asphalt in the near future, after which it will be entered into the Indonesian Sprint Rally Championship event towards the end of the year.
In the video shared by the brand on YouTube, we can see that this little MPV means business, although this isn't what we had in mind when we wanted Mitsubishi to get back to its rally heritage. It's about the same as Toyota going off-road in a Sienna.