Mitsubishi Motors Launches
All-new eK Wagon & eK Custom Minicar Models
Tokyo, June 6, 2013 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) launches all-new eK Wagon and eK Custom tall wagon minicar models at dealerships throughout Japan today. The eK Wagon and eK Custom's suggested retail prices including consumption taxes range from ¥1,050,000 to ¥1,335,000 and from ¥1,269,000 to ¥1,546,000 respectively.
The all-new eK Wagon and eK Custom are the first minicar models planned and developed by NMKV Co., Ltd., a joint venture established by MMC and Nissan. Combining MMC's 50 year-plus knowhow in minicar manufacturing and NMKV's novel marketing techniques, the new eK series has been developed pursuing the "excellent K-car" values and attributes sought by customers in today's market. The new tall wagon models bring unprecedented levels of quality to conventional minicars in addition to universal values of the class such as economic efficiency and easy maneuverability. The new eK models are principally distinguished by: refined looks which go beyond of the class; a comfortable interior with easy-to-drive operation; and high fuel efficiency.
The first generation eK Wagon made its debut in October 2001 as a "semi-tall wagon" with styling that placed it between sedan and tall wagon body types. With additions of the eK Sport, eK Classy, and eK Active models to the lineup, the eK has become MMC's leading minicar series. The second generation eK Wagon and eK Sport were launched in September 2006 and by the end of fiscal 2012, cumulative sales of the eK series had topped 750,000 units. The all-new eK Wagon and eK Custom models launched today as the third generation of the series and target the tall wagon category which accounts for over 40 percent of the minicar market in Japan today. Employing Auto Stop & Go idle-stop system and other cutting-edge fuel economy technologies, the new models achieve best-in-class*1 high fuel efficiency of 29.2 km/liter*2.
I Main features
1. Refined Premium Looks Go Beyond its Class
1) Exterior Design
The exterior design of the all-new eK series presents a lively and dynamic appearance distinguished by a Triple Arrows Line consisting of three character lines, and by the easy, flowing roof line. Originating at the 3-diamond emblem in the center of the grill and running through the headlamps into the front fenders, the Triple Arrows Line makes the new eK models look wider than their dimensions would suggest. The line running from the front bumper to the distinctive L-shape rear lamp design engenders the sense of a high-speed airflow, while the bottom line accents the look of stability about the lower body. Together with these lines, the body's richly modulated panel surface composition creates a 3-dimensional exterior design distinguished by premium quality looks.
The eK Wagon's styling links the two chrome lines in the glossy black front grill to the turn signal in the headlamp units to generate a wider look to the front end. The headlamp units, meanwhile, use reflectors designed to look like a sparkling pupil in the middle of an almond eye line and impart a distinctive expression on the visage.
The eK Custom is designed with a finely detailed headlamp combining impressive chrome grill and discharge headlight, to impart a determined look to the front view. The use of larger bumpers for the class, side air dams and a rear spoiler also serves to create a more powerful and stable appearance.
The eK Wagon is offered in a palette of eight body colors, including a new Cherry Brown Pearl (extra cost*), Purplish Navy Pearl (extra cost*) and Brilliant Turquoise Metallic. The eK Custom, meanwhile, is offered in a range of four carefully chosen colors which give the model's premium refined look.
*???¥21,000 (consumption tax included)
2) Interior Design
The new eK series comes with an interior which is open and airy and cocooned in soft-shape trim. The dashboard uses a premium quality piano black finish center panel which locates the advanced and easy-to-operate touch panel automatic climate controls (first on a Japanese minicar; not available with the eK Wagon E trim level). The front seats provide optimum occupant location to reduce fatigue on longer journeys, while the rear seat offers sofa-like comfort while providing ample support for the lower limbs.
The interior offers ample and convenient small-item storage space, including a front under tray on the driver side as well as a split-level glove box, dash open tray and seat under tray (not available with the eK Wagon E) on the front passenger side.
The eK Wagon employs a classy and refined black and ivory interior color scheme and the seats are upholstered in a soft fabric using accent colors which add a touch of warmth.
The eK Custom has a black interior color scheme that accents their sporty and premium refined character. The seats are upholstered in suede-like fabric with a vertical pattern for premium look.
2. Comfortable Space and Easy to Drive Operation
1) Comfortable Space
The all-new eK Wagon is 70 mm taller and has a wheelbase 90 mm longer than its predecessor, giving it a more comfortable space. Rear seat occupants in particular enjoy greater comfort with a 107 mm increase in the space between front and back seats.
The new eK series uses UV-reducing glass for the front door windows that cuts out some 99 percent* of ultra-violet radiation (not available with the eK Wagon E) (first for MMC).
The front windshield also uses about 100 percent* UV protection laminated glass while some 94 percent* UV-reducing privacy glass (not available with the eK Wagon E) is used in the rear door, quarter and tailgate windows. The use of UV-reducing glass in all the glazing, delta windows included, provides a more comfortable interior environment.
*???Measured in house. Glass conforms to ISO 9050 solar optical standard.
2) Easy to Drive Operation
Forward field of view has been improved in the new eK series by increasing the area of glass and raising the seat hip point. The use of slimmer front pillars reduces blind spots for better visibility and makes it easier to check that it is safe to turn at intersections or to join a flow of traffic.
The new eK series retains its highly maneuverable turning radius of 4.4 meters (excluding the eK Custom T trim level) despite its longer wheelbase and the use of larger tires than on its predecessor. Steering power assistance is increased to make garaging and other slow speed maneuvers easier and is reduced for more direct feel and response at higher speeds. The result is a reassuring and confidence-inspiring steering feel at all speeds.
The eK Wagon G and the eK Custom G and T trim levels come equipped standard with an interior driving mirror which houses a rear view monitor that displays the area behind the vehicle when the driver selects reverse gear.
The new eK series (excluding the eK Wagon E and eK Custom T trim level) employs Hill Start Assist, which automatically keeps the brakes applied for a maximum of two seconds when the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal and presses the accelerator pedal, to prevent the vehicle from slipping backwards when moving off on an uphill gradient (first on a MMC minicar).
From August 2013, the eK Custom T will be available with Active Stability Control (ASC), which helps prevent wheel slip and maintain vehicle attitude stability on slippery surfaces or after a sudden steering input, together with Brake Assist, which boosts braking force, as a factory option set.
*???Active Stability Control system
3. High Fuel Efficiency
The all-new eK series is powered by the compact and lightweight new-generation MIVEC* engine which returns high fuel efficiency and delivers higher output after reductions in friction losses and improvements in combustion efficiency.
*???Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system
The 2WD eK Wagon and the 2WD eK Custom M and G trim levels are fitted with a new Auto Stop & Go (ASG) idle-stop system which now has a "coasting stop" feature that turns off the engine when vehicle speed drops below about 13 km/h while decelerating to further reduce fuel consumption (first on a MMC model). This supports these available trim levels to return fuel economy of 29.2 km/liter, the best in the minicar tall wagon class (in the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's JC08 fuel-economy test cycle).
The 4WD eK Wagon M and G and the 4WD eK Custom G trim levels employ the ASG idle-stop system, which turns off the engine when the vehicle is stationary, to return fuel economy of 26.0 km/liter. Not fitted with ASG, the eK Wagon E model achieves fuel economy of 25.8 km/liter. All eK models powered by a naturally aspirated engine achieve the FY2015 Fuel Efficiency Standard +20%, and qualify for Eco-car Tax Reduction status. This exempts them from payment of acquisition tax and tonnage tax at the time of purchase.
The 2WD eK Custom T turbocharged model returns fuel economy of 23.4 km/liter and achieves the FY2015 Fuel Efficiency Standard + 10%. The 4WD version returns fuel economy of 22.6 km/liter which meets the FY2015 Fuel Efficiency Standard. Both 2WD and 4WD versions qualify for Eco-car Tax Reduction status, with the 2WD model enjoying a 75 percent and the 4WD model a 50 percent reduction in acquisition tax and tonnage tax at the time of purchase.
All eK Wagon and eK Custom models use MMC's INVECS-III* CVT with sub-gear train transmission (first on a MMC minicar).
The wide-ratio transmission and the extended "lockup" range at low throttle openings reconcile acceleration performance with fuel economy.
*???Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System (with driver gear shift behavior learning)
Extensive reduction of weight, drag and rolling resistance make a significant contribution to the new eK series' high fuel efficiency.
The use of high-tensile steel panels has been increased from 8 percent to 56 percent and together with structural rationalization, including the use of smaller and thinner gauge reinforcements, achieves about 10 percent weight reduction over the predecessor. Other extensive reductions in weight offset the increase in weight accompanying the change to tall wagon styling.
With front and rear bumpers designed to reduce drag and with the roof falling gently away toward the rear, with no impact on interior space, the new eK series realizes a Cd of 0.32 (measured in house), among the best in its class. This represents an approximately 10 percent improvement in drag on the previous eK Wagon.
4. Other Features
1) Convenience Features
The eK Wagon G and the eK Custom G and T trim levels are fitted with an engine start push button and keyless operation system (first on a MMC minicar).
As long as the driver has the keyless operation fob in their pocket or handbag, they can operate car locks by simply pressing the door and tailgate switch. The engine start push button also allows the engine to be started or stopped at a single push.
The all-new eK series uses MMC's ETACS* electronic control system which makes for a more comfortable driving experience by automatically controlling a number of systems. Convenience enhancing features include: Headlight Auto Off, which automatically switches off the headlights when the driver opens their door with the ignition off; Comfort Flasher, which is convenient while changing lanes by making the turn signal to flash just three times when the driver dabs the lever; and Variable Intermittent Wipers (vehicle speed sensitive), which automatically varies wiper operation timing to match vehicle speed when the wiper lever is in intermittent mode.
*???Electronics Time and Alarm Control System
A rear seat slide mechanism with 170 mm of travel which can be operated from the luggage compartment as well as passenger space enables to expand luggage space. The new eK series employs a 50/50 split folding rear seat, allowing the luggage compartment size to be matched to luggage requirements; and a One-touch Tilt-down mechanism which causes the rear seat to sink down as the rear seatback is folded forward to realize a flat luggage compartment floor.
2) Safety Specification
The all-new eK series uses MMC's RISE* impact safety body which combines a front end structure designed to absorb impact energy with a high-strength cabin structure. The protective passenger cabin structure and the right use of high-tensile steel plates in the right place throughout the body provide superior impact safety.
*???Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution
The engine hood employs impact absorbing structures while the front bumper uses an internal impact absorbing structure to mitigate head and leg injuries respectively for pedestrian safety.
All models in the new eK series are fitted standard with SRS*1 air bags for driver and front passenger. The front seatbelts use a pretensioner*2, which instantly takes up any slack in the shoulder and waist webbing to firmly locate the wearer, as well as a variable force limiter which prevents chest area from being subjected to excessive loads, in the event of a collision. Rear seat occupants are provided with 3-point ELR seatbelts*3.
*1???Supplemental Restraint System
*2???Waist belt pretensioner only fitted to driver's seatbelt
*3???Emergency Locking Retractor
All models in the new eK series are fitted as standard with ABS*1 braking which prevents the brakes from locking up under emergency braking and prevents vehicle from skidding. Brake Assist, fitted to all models except the eK Wagon E and eK Custom T, boosts braking force while EBD*2 tailors rear braking force to the number of occupants and amount of luggage in the car. From August 2013, a set of Brake Assist and Active Stability Control (ASC) will be available as a factory option for the 2WD eK Custom T trim level.
*1???Anti-lock Brake System
*2???Electronic Brake-force Distribution
The new eK series uses Emergency Stop Signals which automatically flash rapidly to warn the following vehicle when the brakes are applied suddenly and prevent a tail end collision (first on a MMC minicar).
3) Dealer Options
Available as dealer options on all models are: a choice of basic or high-spec versions of a double-DIN size wide screen navigation system; a smartphone compatible display unit; and a CD player/radio tuner.
Three option packages are available. The Chrome Package, with chrome door mirror covers and handle covers, further enhances the eK series' premium quality appearance. The Illumination Package, with illuminated scuff plates and floor illumination, makes driving at night more enjoyable, while the Safety Package, with fog lamps and hydrophilic door mirrors, improves visibility for enhanced safety.
Also available is a Remote Engine Starter fob which can also be used to operate the on-board keyless operation system.