When you look at the Mitsubishi Xpander, turning it into a race car is perhaps the last thing on anyone's mind. After all, it's purpose in life is to carry you and six of your friends and family from point A to B with no fuss. Of course, that didn't stop Ralliart from turning one into a rally car.
About a year ago, Mitsubishi's in-house tuning division transformed the family shuttle into a rally racer. Of course, there were skeptics; dismissing it as an Xpander with wide fenders. To quell any of those doubts, Ralliart New Zealand is showing the world how they did it. This, perhaps, is the most extreme build ever done to a small MPV.
Ralliart New Zealand didn't just strip down the interior, cage it, and call it a day. Everything that makes the Xpander a good family car was chucked out. From its seats, air-conditioning, and the dashboard, those were all thrown out in the interest of weight reduction. The body was then reinforced with additional welds to cope with the demands of rally racing. Then there's the multi-point roll cage bolted straight on to the chassis. You won't be carrying seven people in this particular Xpander anytime soon.
The Xpander's floor was heavily modified to accommodate the all-wheel-drive system, requiring more cutting and welding. Extra bracing was done to the front half of the chassis as well. Ralliart even had to make a suspension from scratch. The one used in the road-going version simply won't cut it on punishing rally stages. It's wider than the showroom-spec Xpander too, and those aero upgrades aren't there just for show either.
This rally-ready Xpander has the heart of the Lancer Evolution. It uses a de-stroked version of the 2.0-liter turbo engine, and displacement is down to 1.6-liters. That doesn't make it any slower, of course. Power is rated at 355 PS and it has 556 Nm of torque to go along with it; figures we wouldn't call lacking. With power being sent to all four wheels, we're expecting rapid acceleration from this rally, er, MPV.
With all the work done to it, it seems that the only things left (relatively) untouched are the door and window pillars. So if anyone still thinks that this is just an Xpander with a body kit, these build photos pretty much speak for themselves.