Mitsubishi targets 13th Dakar Rally win with Eclipse Cross prototype

Mitsubishi targets 13th Dakar Rally win with Eclipse Cross prototype

ABU DHABI: Mitsubishi Motors is all set to enter the 2019 Dakar Rally. Riding on the Eclipse Cross T1, the company aims to win the competition for the 13th time. The prototype car will be driven by the Spanish duo Cristina Gutierrez and Pablo Huete. The latter will be the co-driver and navigator. Mrs Huete was the top placed woman driver in the rally’s 2018 edition.

Eclipse Cross prototype

Gutierrez recently told the media that as always, she has high expectations from the rally. However, her primary objective would be to finish for the third consecutive year, she added.

Eclipse Cross will be participating in the Dakar Rally for the first time. Mitsubishi has been the most successful car brand at the rally with 12 straight victories, courtesy the now-legendary Pajero Evolution. No other brand has won the contest as many times as the Japanese automaker.

Eclipse Cross ENGINE

The Cross T1 is built on a steel space-frame chassis with a carbon fibre body. The car is mounted on a double wishbone suspension system. That aside, each wheel has two fully-adjustable Öhlins Racing dampers. The four-wheel full-time drive system of the Eclipse Cross T1 prototype, in line with the best performance vehicles from Mitsubishi, uses limited slip differential at the rear and front along with a mechanically centred differential. The twin delivery system helps transmit 345 PS and 686 Nm torque from the turbodiesel engine through a sequential, six-speed transmission. The AP Racing four-piston brakes carry out stopping duties in the Cross T1 prototype.

Eclipse CrosS In 13th Dakar Rally

Commenting on the vehicle she is about to drive, Gutierrez said, the car is a significant step forward compared to previous years. The Cross T1 prototype has excellent off-road capabilities. It can accelerate very fast and is easier to steer. The Eclipse Cross T1, she claimed, is the most spectacular vehicle she has ever driven and is superb to handle.

The 2019 edition of the Dakar Rally will be held from 6 to 17 January in Peru. It will challenge drivers in a gruelling 5,000 km competition, of which, at least 70 per cent is on the sand. The timed-competition comprises 10-stages including mountainous terrain and dirt tracks and puts cars through an optimum endurance test.

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