Think rally car and you're probably picturing a Lancer Evolution jumping crests and slinging dirt sideways. After all, Mitsubishi has quite the record in the world's rally stages. So color us surprised when they unveiled their newest rally raider.
Yes, you're looking at an Xpander rally car, the Xpander AP4 to be exact. Mitsubishi has turned the practical seven-seater into a racing machine and unveiled it at the 2019 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS). It's not just a bodykit either as there are pretty extensive modifications under the skin. For now, it is a concept but Mitsubishi is keen to take it out on the Asia-Pacific rallying scene. The actual race car will be shown a couple of months from now at the 2019 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show.
For starters, it doesn't even seat seven anymore. They've thrown out the second and third-row seats, stripped out the interior, and put in two bucket seats in front. It even has a rollcage, which is something you wouldn't expect in an MPV.
The most obvious difference between this and the more pedestrian and family-friendly version is the widebody kit. That suggests a beefed-up suspension package and extensive modifications to the under chassis. The front apron also gains a chin and the rear fenders get some extensive reworking. Also, they've thrown in a wing for good measure.
While Mitsubishi is tight-lipped on other details, we do see an intercooler peeking out of the bumper. What we have here could be a boosted Xpander, which should be interesting. Looking at AP4 regulations, turbocharging is allowed after all, and cars there typically have about 280 PS. Some AP4 cars even have all-wheel drive. Should Mitsubishi stick to the formula, we're looking at an all-wheel-drive Xpander pushing out nearly 300 PS.
Unfortunately, Mitsubishi will not be making a road-going version of the 'Xpander Evolution'. That said, we can now imagine some Xpander owners giving their practical family shuttle the same look.