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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every Car


2004 Mitsubishi Model GuideMitsubishi, headquartered in Japan but with an American production plant in Illinois and design studios plus a technical center in California, offers five different car models in 2004 for the North American market and several are designed and assembled in the United States.

The made-in-America Mitsubishis for 2004 include a racy hatchback Eclipse coupe and the drop-top variation, Eclipse Spyder, plus the mid-size Galant sedan that shows up in expanded new editions. Mitsubishi's luxurious Diamante flagship sedan grew out of designs created in Japan, with assembly worked out in Australia.

And Lancer - conformed as a sporty notchback sedan for the compact class plus a new Sportback five-door hatchback wagon variation - comes together in Japan, as does the powerful new Lancer Evolution. It's a high-performance version of Mitsubishi's Lancer compact sedan but motivated by a souped-up turbo engine and equipped with all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction.

Eclipse as a slinky coupe and the convertible Spyder look daring with styling in geo-mechanical sculptures blending geometric patterns with edgework from hard mechanical forms. The entry-issue Eclipse RS coupe gains more standard equipment for 2004 including power mirrors and a six-speaker audio system.

Galant, riding on a new platform, measures larger in package size with the expansive cabin fit for five. It also provides stronger engines with four-cylinder and V6 options.

Diamante flashes new fascia with a front-end styling re-do and the cabin has new materials and more standard gear aboard. Fresh styling points also go to Lancer with more models in the lineup like the new Ralliart edition. Lancer's five-door Sportback model also debuts in 2004 as Mitsubishi crafts an affordable compact sport wagon.

Consider the new Lancer Evolution as the sum of all performance and competition technologies developed by Mitsubishi's trophy-grabbing World Rally Championship (WRC) racing campaign over the past decade.

Mitsubishi Diamante
2004 Mitsubishi Diamante

The flagship sedan from Mitsubishi projects sophisticated exterior lines in a mid-size package with five seats in the cabin. Issues for 2004 reflect styling revisions with new front fascia and hood plus new designs for 16-inch wheels. In the cabin there's a new instrument panel and a center console added between two front bucket seats.

Base Diamante ES and plush LS editions are joined by a bold VR-X. It wears aggressive side skirt air dams and wheel lip moldings, with chrome tips evident on exhaust pipes. Optional for VR-X is a premium Leather Package and Sport Package with Infinity audio system and tail spoiler. Under the hood, VR-X earns five more power points in the 3.5-liter V6 for a total of 210 hp.

Diamante ES has seats covered in new fabrics this year, while LS provides deluxe features like leather seats plus heat elements in front seats and side mirrors. It also gets a Sportronic transmission, as does the VR-X. With Sportronic manual mode, the shifter lever slides laterally into a side gate, where to-or-fro action bumps up or down the gear ladder one notch at a time.

Mitsubishi Galant
2004 Mitsubishi Galant

The Galant sedan grows up with a new design emerging in 2004 to mark a new generation for Mitsubishi's mid-size staple. Galant for 2004 is bigger than the previous version and amounts to one of the largest sedans in the mid-size segment.

It has an expanded passenger compartment with ample space for five riders including significant legroom and shoulder room on the rear bench. And it looks glamorous with crisp yet curvy body forms and glittery headlamp and taillight clusters.

Mitsubishi puts muscle aboard from four-cylinder and V6 powertrains. A base four displacing 2.4 liters has valve timing that's a mouthful of a name best crimped to the acronym of MIVEC, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative valve timing and lift electronic control. It rocks with 160 hp. A 3.8-liter V6 makes 230 hp and works with a Sportronic automatic. Two models use the four-cylinder engine and two carry the V6.

An entry-level Galant DE has the four-pack plant and a four-speed automatic transaxle with disc brakes for all wheels, while Galant ES upgrades with a 270-watt audio system plus anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Galant LS V6 uses the Sportronic automatic with a traction control system (TCS) as the GTS V6 has sporty suspension tweaking plus projector headlamps in the prow and leather hides covering seats in the cockpit.

Mitsubishi Lancer
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer

The compact Lancer sedan first came ashore in North America in 2002 as upgraded replacement for Mitsubishi's unassuming subcompact Mirage sedan. It was bigger than Mirage and carried a larger and more powerful engine, with a more substantial structure supporting the slick exterior package and more sophisticated mechanical hardware aboard, plus luxury equipment standard in a rather cushy cabin.

The enlarged structure - adding four more inches of length compared to the wheelbase for Mirage - elevated Lancer to the center of the compact class of imported sedans. Measure all of them and Lancer ends up with the longest body, while the expansive passenger cabin scores best-in-class legroom for front seats.

Exterior styling looks strong and aggressive, with wheels pinned at corners to balance the stance. Body parts extend only briefly over front and back edges in the manner of racers as the two-step face and windshield tip backward to suggest swift movement. New sculpting of the front-end for 2004 shows the Mitsubishi signature grille front and center on the prow with new integrated bumpers and halogen headlamps at front corners.

Mitsubishi casts Lancer in four editions this year including a new Ralliart trim with additional horsepower. Four trims draw from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that nets 120 hp and connects to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. Lancer ES is the base issue, with luxury version Lancer LS adding equipment and Lancer O-Z Rally wearing sporty body additions inspired by rally racers.

Lancer Ralliart draws on Lancer Evolution for styling and also carries more hardware, such as a taut-tuned suspension, sport bucket seats and larger disc brakes, and it gets more power too - 162 hp - with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine out of the Outlander wagon.

Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

Take the Lancer notchback sedan and carve up a hatchback-style tail section with extra door and you'll get the idea for Mitsubishi's new five-door sport wagon. Compared to Lancer the sedan, there's more room inside with 42.3 cubic feet of space in the cargo compartment. It also has more power under the hood with a 2.4-liter in-line-four that nets 160 hp for Sportback LS and 162 hp for Sportback Ralliart.

The LS has significant content in standard equipment, including automatic transmission and air conditioning, an audio package with CD deck, driver's seat with height adjustment, power for windows and locks and mirrors, and a remote keyless entry system. Sportback Ralliart upgrades with sporty suspension tuning, V-rated tires and ABS.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

A street-legal version of Mitsubishi's hot new rally-racing sedan comes to America as the Lancer Evolution.

Nicknamed 'Evo' in rally racing circles and on the Internet in aficionado chat rooms, the sport sedan looks ready to tear down the block with the bulging air scoop on the hood, curvy air dam up front, pontoon-style fenders, Enkei high-strength alloy wheels capped by Yokohama ADVAN high-grip tires, a carbon-fiber spoiler on the tail and the driver's-oriented cockpit fitted with bolstered Recaro sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped Momo three-spoke steering wheel and rally-style round gauges in the instrument panel with black faces and vivid red letters.

There's a five-speed manual stick on the console ringed by trim that looks like brushed titanium. And to retard all of the power stoked below the Evo hood, there are four big Brembo brand ventilated disc brakes tied to four-channel ABS and electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

But the heart of Evo is its power-pumping engine. The 2.0-liter four-in-line -- a turbo-charged and inter-cooled version of the 4G63 plant propelling every edition of the Lancer Evolution rally racer -- serves up 271 hp. Mitsubishi packages Evolution with a long list of standard equipment.

It comes with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, keyless entry and 140-watt audio system with CD deck and six speakers. The carbon-fiber spoiler and a power sunroof are the only options.

Mitsubishi Eclipse
2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse

The racy hatchback coupe from Mitsubishi seems substantial and strong, but also gracefully sleek like a compressed bullet with sides squared and prow honed to a hard point.

Eclipse for 2004 appears in trims of base RS, GS and GT plus GTS, with 17-inchers optional on GT and GTS. The 2+2 cockpit has flashy fabrics on sport seats for RS, GS and GT, while GTS gets leather. Two different engines drop into Eclipse. Mitsubishi's 2.4-liter four works in the RS and upgraded GS, reaching 147 hp with a manual transmission, or 140 hp with the automatic. Eclipse GT stocks a single-cam 3.0-liter V6. For GTS the plant runs up ten more points to 210 hp. A shifter stick on the console connects to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

The convertible edition of Eclipse was engineered from the outset to work as a car without a coupe's superstructure -- it's rigid and stiff, which sets up some sporty road manners. Spyder's power-operated folding soft top lowers in seconds, with all movements controlled by dual electric motors sent into action by a single dashboard button.

The exterior looks daring and aggressive like the coupe in geo-mechanical style. The 3.0-liter V6 is used on GT and GTS models and delivers 210 hp. A stubby shift lever, mounted on the console, connects to manual or automatic transaxles. Spyder GS continues with the single-cam 2.4-liter four rated at 147 hp for a manual transmission or 140 hp for automatic.

Three new exterior colors come to 2004 issues (Machine Green, Torched Steel Blue and Steel Blue Pearl), as well as two new tints for the fabric-clad top (Sand Blast and Blue). (...BACK)


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