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Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross T1 Prototype to race in 2019 Dakar rally

Mitsubishi Spain will enter an Eclipse Cross T1 Prototype in the upcoming 2019 Dakar rally with experienced Dakar-ist, Cristina Gutierrez at the helm.

This might be the first outing for the Eclipse Cross in the Dakar rally, but Mitsubishi is an old-hand at the race with the Pajero Evolution winning the rally 12 times. No other manufacturer or vehicle has come close to matching that tally.

Commenting on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross T1, Gutierrez noted: “For me, it is a big step ahead compared to the previous years. You can go very fast with it, while it is easier to drive and has greater off road capabilities. It’s the most spectacular car I’ve ever driven and attracts a lot of attention!”

Driver, Gutierrez, has raced in the event for Mitsubishi Spain for the last four years and was, last year, the highest placed female driver. She said, “As always when you face a Dakar, you do it with great expectation but also a lot of respect for the test,” commented Gutierrez. “The first objective, of course, is to finish what is the toughest rally in the world, for the third time in a row.”

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross T1 prototype is built around a steel spaceframe chassis with a carbon fiber body and employs double wishbone suspension with two fully-adjustable Öhlins Racing dampers on each wheel. Like other Mitsubishi Dakar entries in the past, the full-time four-wheel drive system uses a mechanical centre differential and limited slip differentials front and rear, helping transmit the turbo-diesel engine’s power and torque to the ground via a six-speed sequential transmission. Stopping power comes courtesy of four-piston AP Racing brakes on each wheel.

The 2019 Dakar rally kicks off on January 6.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober