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Mitsubishi Tarmac Spyder concept
by Nick Hull

Mitsubishi revealed its latest new concept, the Tarmac Spyder, a follow-on from the CZ-3 Tarmac sports hatch shown in 2001, but with a more aggressive performance and styling treatment.

In concept the Tarmac Spyder is a high-waisted 2+2 with an open cockpit which is married to the legendary Lancer Evolution full-time all-wheel-drive chassis and 2.0 litre 16-valve turbocharged and intercooled engine with more than 300bhp. The 2+2 design yields greater utility than normal 2-seat roadsters and encourages owners to share their passion with friends or family. The use of this long 2515mm wheelbase platform gives a quite dramatic proportion where the cabin is pushed far forward with a long front overhang and very short rear rump.

The best angle is undoubtedly the front three-quarter view where the wide mouth and 19” wheels give a very aggressive, road-hugging stance. The large intake is as a result of this performance car’s need to ingest large volumes of ambient air to the engine’s intercooler and radiators. The softly-sculpted body has some unusual details such as the way the fenders extend half way up the A-pillars in little winglets supporting the windscreen and door mirrors (wing mirrors?). The spear-shaped headlights use a clear lens that runs the length of the hood line and features 3 beams mounted in steps as the lens progresses up the fender. The cabin can be covered with a detachable hardtop when protection from the weather is necessary.

The Tarmac Spyder’s interior takes racecar inspired materials and flowing forms to produce a highly functional arrangement. To satisfy the techno-savvy youngsters for which this car was designed, the front and rear passengers can enjoy videos or DVDs on flat screen displays. These can also show a driver’s eye view of the road or track using a camera mounted in those side mirrors. As a final touch the camera features a replay option to allow passengers to rapidly view their favourite run around the track – just as on Gran Turismo or Driver.

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Last updated: Mon, Jan 13, 2003