Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today launched fully redesigned eK Wagon and eK Sport models at affiliated dealerships throughout Japan on September 13, 2006. Developed to a “convenience”, “peace-of-mind” and “feel-good” theme, features distinguishing the new eK series include a power sliding door, the first on a bonnet-type passenger minicar, and a comprehensive small-item storage and utility specification that offers outstanding usability.Â Tax inclusive prices for 2WD and 4WD eK Wagon models range from 913,500 yen to 1,222,200 yen, and for 2WD and 4WD eK Sport models from 1,260,000 yen to 1,484,700 yen.
The first eK series debuted in October 2001. It was developed to establish a generation- and gender-transcending “minicar standard” that would enjoy the support of a wide spectrum of users. Features defining the concept and readily embraced by its broad customer base include its “simple, clean and basic” design, its “semi-tall packaging” that is just right for easy ingress/egress and for Japan’s multi-level tower car parks and its comprehensive equipment and amenities specification that gives careful attention to owner needs. These selling points drove total eK series sales over 480,000 units to make it one of Mitsubishi Motors best selling models.
Mitsubishi eK Wagon MS
Development of the second generation eK Wagon and eK Sport was directed at retaining and evolving the well-received “practical and basic minicar standard” position that defined the first series. Taking its cue from Mitsubishi Motors “Back to the basics of car building excellence” stance, the company conducted extensive research to obtain a detailed understanding of latent needs in a broad spectrum of current and potential owners and users. The research included: conventional user clinics; behavioral studies of consumers at supermarket car parks; interviews with parents at children’s class meetings; and interviewing pet owners and vets at veterinary surgeries.
The research led to a number of “discoveries” that had gone unobserved to date and related to unexpected instances of joy, happiness and dissatisfaction on the part of minicar users. These discoveries are reflected in the Multi-position Utility system that allows the interior to be easily customized and other “evolving” changes as well as in the “deepening” detail improvements made to component and parts. The new eK brings a real smile to the driver and passengers as they feel for themselves the evolution in the “convenience,” “peace-of-mind” and “feel-good” elements that make it the “great minicar wagon” and the daily life partner it is.
The new eK delivers category-topping levels of environmental performance. The use of a new catalytic converter sees naturally aspirated engine models earn 4-star ratings for emissions that are 75% lower than the requirements of the Japanese 2005 Emission Regulations, while intercooler/turbocharged models earn 3-star rating for emissions that are 50% lower than the requirement. Using a deodorizing head lining and Clean Air Filter with odor-remover the new eK meets in advance the standards laid down in JAMA’s Voluntary Requirements of VOC*1 Levels. Other features contributing to its pleasant and comfortable interior include the use of Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified seat fabric and solar control glass.
*1 VOCVolatile Organic Compounds
A – eK Wagon and eK Sport product features
(1) “Evolving”: New items
1) Inner rail-type Power Sliding Door enhances convenience & security (standard on eK Wagon MS and GS trim levels)
Offered for the first time on a passenger-use minicar, eK Wagon is available with an inner rail-type Power Sliding Door developed very much with families with young children, the main user group, in mind. This convenience and security enhancing feature is available on MG and GS trim levels at a very reasonable additional cost of 52,500 yen (tax included).
– The nearside rear inner rail-type Power Sliding Door may be operated by inner and outer handles as well as by switches located on the center pillar and in the cockpit. The sliding door may also be opened or closed using the keyless entry system remote control, convenient when carrying shopping in both hands.
– The door uses Mitsubishi Motors’ own sliding mechanism in which the rails are hidden when the door is shut. This configuration provides the maximum door opening size possible within the restricted dimensions of the minicar category. Because the slide rail is not installed in the door outer panel the Power Sliding Door does not affect eK Wagon’s clean exterior lines. To avoid hitting anything close behind the vehicle, the sliding door is designed not to protrude beyond the trailing edge of the body when fully open.
– At 530 mm wide and 1005 mm high, the door opening is large enough for access by adults and a large assist grip on the center pillar facilitates boarding and alighting.
– An easy-closer mechanism takes the effort out of manually closing the door and assures that it closes properly.
– When a touch sensor on the front edge of the power sliding door detects an obstruction as the door is closing the power mechanism automatically reverses the slide direction. The door is fitted with a child protect lock to prevent accidental operation. When this is engaged the door can only be opened using the driver’s cockpit switch or the outer handle. A stopper keeps the open door from sliding shut when the vehicle is parked on an incline.
– On MS and GS trim levels the center and rear pillars, side roof and side sill are reinforced to improve the durability and operating feel of the Power Sliding Door as well as to increase overall body stiffness and provide greater safety in a side impact.
2) Multi-position Utility system
Standard on all trim levels, the innovative Multi-position Utility (MPU) system provides five attachment points sharing the same mode of attachment: one under the dashboard Center Panel and four in the front passenger seatback. MPU refers to the function of and to the group of items that comprise the system. Enhancing convenience and usability, the system allows the owner and other users to customize the interior by attaching, moving around or exchanging a variety of amenity items at their preferred attachment point.
– Convenience Hooks and a Mini Trash Box are provided as standard equipment for use with the MPU system. The owner may move these items around to other locations in the system as he or she wishes.
– The MPU system also supports a range of dealer-fitted option items that includes large and small pockets, a table with hooks for children’s use and an umbrella holder.
– The owner can also have fun customizing the interior by sticking dealer-fitted option Multi-use Hooks to his or her favorite personal goods or stuffed toy and fitting them at MPU locations.
3) Category-eclipsing high-grade audio system
Mitsubishi Motors has upgraded the eK’s audio specification in a major way because it believes feel-good music to be important in creating an enjoyable interior ambiance when traveling with family or friends. The High-grade Sound System that delivers category-eclipsing acoustic performance and the Mitsubishi Multi-Entertainment System (MMES) are now available as factory-fitted options.
– The Mitsubishi Multi-Entertainment System (MMES) may also be chosen as a factory-fitted option. With a 30 GB hard disk drive, the system integrates user-friendly on-board navigation with advanced audio capabilities that include a music catcher that can store up to 4,000 titles.
– Topping the range of available audio systems and for the true music connoisseur is the High-grade Sound System. A 360 watt 6-channel amplifier drives 8 speakers in 6 locations. The system incorporates a digital signal processor (DSP) that allows the listener to tune sound reproduction to match source and audio field. For this option, the front doors are turned into speaker boxes using the deadening treatment developed on the Outlander and using noise insulation and vibration damping materials to close off openings inside the door. The result is a level of acoustic quality unprecedented in the minicar category. This option is available on the M (3-speed A/T) and on the G, X and R trim levels.
– The 2DIN locating space in the Center Panel has been moved upward for easier operation of the audio controls and better viewability of the navigation screen.
(2) “Deepening”: Detail improvements
1) Ageless exterior design
The new eK inherits the semi-tall packaging that proved to be one of the unique selling points in the first series: combining outstanding levels of ingress/egress and interior room with multi-storey tower car park accessibility. The new eK adds “smart” – an optimal balance between rational design and a casual sense of fun – to the generation- and gender-transcending “simple, clean, basic” concept that cued the original eK design.
While inheriting the identity of the first series model, the new eK Wagon gains a crisper definition to the semi-tall & long roof proportions of its boxy silhouette through the muscular surface treatment, and the character line with its fender flares wrapping deeply around the front wheels. Elements contributing to eK Wagon’s advanced but functional appearance include a bonnet shape that complies with pedestrian protection legislation and the use of power-thrifty and long-life LED rear combination lamps (a category-first).
Supporting a wide variety of lifestyles, the rich lineup of 11* body colors includes a serene and amicable Pearl Beige Solid and a chic White Pearl.
Designed for those looking for sportier performance and styling, eK Sport is wrapped in visually impactful lines that give a lip-smacking foretaste of its gutsy performance. Elements that help forge its personality include the front visage, which is immediately identifiable with its black sword-edge graphics composed using the HID headlight units and distinctive polycarbonate grille, 14-inch alloy road wheels on the R trim level (13-inch on the X), side and rear air dams and roof spoiler. eK Sport is offered in a choice of six* urban and sporty colors, including a new and richly expressive Dawn Silver Metallic that projects a steely look of strength.