Mitsubishi is developing a new diesel engine to meet the new US Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions regulations and will launch it there in the Lancer in 2010.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and its manufacturing and sales unit in the United States, Mitsubishi Motors North America, jointly made the announcement as they launched the redesigned Lancer and a prototype X concept (forerunner of the next Lancer Evolution) at the Detroit Motor show.

MMC chairman Takashi Nishioka said: “We are collaborating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop a next generation diesel engine that will be launched in the North American market in 2010.”

Mitsubishi currently designs and builds its own engines for its Pajero/Shogun SUV and L200/Triton light truck line (neither is now sold in the US) but buys in Volkswagen two-litre turbodiesels for the minivan and Outlander small SUV models it sells in Europe.

The diesel engine project for the US will be based on a diesel engine that MMC is developing with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for European export models to replace the VW engines.

The new US engine incorporates a DPF + NOx trap catalyst to ensure compliance with the upcoming Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions regulations that require NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions to be as low as similar emissions from petrol engines. It will also be compliant with the Japanese post-new long term emissions regulations.

Engine features will include a lightweight aluminium block, a common rail system with piezo injectors to provide good responsiveness, and a VG/VD turbocharger with boost pressure controllable over a particularly wide range by combining a variable geometry (VG) that enables turbine flow to be varied, with a variable diffuser (VD) that enables compressor flow to be varied.

This combination of features will produce an engine that is both very powerful and efficient, MMC claimed.

Nishioka added: “With strong support from the Mitsubishi Group, Mitsubishi Motors is now in the middle of implementing the three-year business plan that started in fiscal 2005. Under the plan, we are beefing up the management setup of our US operations and reviewing our sales policies and strategies here. We are now in a situation where we can project that fiscal 2006 will produce our first operating profit in four years. Together with all the other Mitsubishi Group companies, we are also working on environmental initiatives, using Mitsubishi Group resources to maximum effect.”

The new diesel engine was part of that process, he said.