Mitsubishi Pajero Montero Evolution MPR 12
Years 2006
Curb Weight 4,015 Lbs.
Drivetrain Front / AWD
Engine 4.0L Naturally Aspirated v 6
Power 270hp (201.4kW) @ 5500 rpm
412lb-ft (556.2Nm) @ 3500 rpm

Mitsubishi Motors Achieves Record-Breaking 11th Overall Victory

Petaling Jaya, 15 January, 2006 – Mitsubishi Motors claimed victory when drivers Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard won the Dakar Rally, claiming a record-breaking 11th overall victory and 6th consecutive win in this legendary rally.

Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team-mates Joan ’Nani’ Roma and Henri Magne also finished on the podium, in third position, while defending champions Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret took fourth overall.

The grueling event, which started on New Year’s Eve, covered more than 9,000 kilometers and all three Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions barely missed a beat as they powered over some of Africa’s most remote and inhospitable terrain.

Mitsubishi’s long experience of cross country competition - which started with an entry into the Dakar in 1983 - came to the forefront once again. Six successive victories and 11 overall victories is testament to the strength, durability and endurance of the all-conquering Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.

“This record-breaking victory gives the Mitsubishi brand a good start for the new year - not just in Malaysia but around the world as well. Mitsubishi has once again maintained its leading position in one of the toughest off-road events in the world. This remarkable feat will allow Mitsubishi to continue to make refinements and improvements, injecting rally experience into normal production vehicles,” said Mr. Fumihiko Minami, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia.

“This latest win is also timely as we have recently launched the “Mitsubishi Tour de L200”, featuring a convoy of four L200 pick-up trucks, dressed in Rally motifs and what better way to celebrate such a significant Dakar record than by bringing the Mitsubishi rally spirit to Malaysians?” said Mr. Minami.

The convoy is currently touring around major cities until 24 January. The Mitsubishi Tour de L200 is held in collaboration with Mix FM. For details and daily updates of the locations, click here.

The outright success is the first for Alphand - last year’s runner-up and a former World Downhill skiing champion - and the second for his French co-driver Gilles Picard, who had won the Dakar with fellow countryman Jean-Pierre Fontenay in 1998.

The Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution crew had taken the outright lead between Bamako in Mali and Labé in Guinea, when former multiple winner Peterhansel crashed into a tree and damaged his rear suspension and transmission. Despite fierce pressure from second-placed South African driver Giniel de Villiers, Alphand took few risks over the closing three days of the 15-leg event to record a winning margin of 17 minutes and 53 seconds after the final timed section near Dakar was cancelled.

"I knew I had a great chance to win," said Alphand. "The team worked so hard on the development of our car and I think over the 15 days we were the better all-round outfit. It’s a fantastic feeling to win the Dakar. I experienced many highs and lows in my skiing career, but this is so different."

Spaniard Roma joined the Mitsubishi team for his first event in October 2005 and finished sixth on his Dakar debut on four wheels last year. On this occasion, he and Andorra-based co-driver Magne finished a superb third overall in a second Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.

"It has been a fantastic race from the start," said Roma. "All the time it was close, exciting and very difficult for the drivers and co-drivers. For me it is great to be on the podium. I am part of a superb team at Mitsubishi and everyone has worked so hard to achieve this success."

The French duo of Peterhansel and Cottret had moved into the outright lead of the event on the second of four stages through the Islamic Republic of Mauritania last week. But the eight-time winner then struck a tree and lost over three hours and any chance of taking a hat-trick of wins in the world’s toughest rally.

"I made a mistake a few days ago and with the level of competition we have seen this year on the Dakar, there was no way I could recover that time," said Peterhansel. "I am disappointed that I could not complete the hat-trick of wins, but Mitsubishi has won the race and that is the priority. It is also great for Luc and Gilles to take their first win together."

Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team President Isao Torii said: "I am so happy for every member of our team. I would like to thank everyone for their work and thanks also to our partners and sponsors for their efforts. I have been with this team for the last two victories and this was the most exciting of the lot. It has been a privilege to be a part of this success and to see the French and Japanese members of the team working together so successfully. Tomorrow we will switch our focus to preparing to win the race for a seventh successive time in 2007."

Adding to his comments, a delighted Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Director Dominique Serieys joked: "Last year I could count our Dakar victories on two hands, but now we have won 11 times I have a missing finger! It was not an easy race, but our team showed complete motivation to reach the target of a sixth successive win. We have a smaller team and a smaller budget than our rivals, but we have performed superbly well."

In conclusion, Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Technical Director Thierry Viardot said: "I think the deciding factor on this year’s Dakar was our overall team experience and the knowledge of our drivers. It was very close in the early stages, but I was confident that there were three days in Mauritania where Mitsubishi would have the advantage. We made a wise tire choice when it mattered, our teams made only minor mistakes in the dunes and with the navigation, and they coped well under pressure."

MITSUBSHI PAJER/MONTERO EVOLUTION MPR 12 2006 MODEL (T1 Modified Cross-Country Cars)

Overall Length 4222 mm
Overall Width 1978 mm
Wheel Base 2775 mm
Front Track 1750 mm
Rear Track 1755 mm
Engine Model Based on Mivec, 6-cylinder, 24-Valve, DOHC, fixed inlet port, dry-sump oil system
Fuel System ECI multi-point fuel injection
Displacement 3997 cc
Maximum Output 270 PS / 5500 rpm and 42 kg/m torque @ 3500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed Ricardo-type, sequential shift gearbox and mechanical gear selection
4WD System full time, mechanical center diff lock
Front differential Xtrac self-locking differential
Rear Differential Xtrac self-locking differential
Suspension (Front) Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Suspension (Rear) Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Suspension (Dampers) 2 shocks per wheel, fully-adjustable damping and anti-roll bar system
Steering Power-assisted rack and pinion
Wheel Stroke 250 mm front and rear
Brakes Front and rear: Ventilated Brembo discs with 6-piston Brembo calipers
Wheels aluminium 7x16
Tires BF Goodrich 235/85 - 16
Minimum Weight 1825 kg
Others Aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame, Honeycomb body floor and carbon fiber body
Fuel Tank Capacity 500 litres (competition range around 800 kms - 400 kgs extra weight with full tank)

Source: Mitsubishi-motors.com

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