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Mitsubishi Colt CZC Turbo

Test venue: Cirencester and the Cotswolds

May 2006

Mitsubishi is currently benefiting from encouraging demand for the new L200 Pick-Up, so what better time to launch its first ever B-segment cabriolets, the Colt CZC and Colt CZC Turbo models.

Designed and developed with support from Pininfarina, the Colt CZC is now available with two engine options and marks the Japanese manufacturer’s entry into a brand new niche market to compete with Peugeot’s 206 CC, the Vauxhall Tigra and the Nissan Micra CC. The cars were inspired by recent Mitsubishi concept models and are being assembled at Bairo, near Turin, using MMC’s NedCar technology and expertise.

The Colt Car Company – Mitsubishi’s UK importer – chose its home venue of Cirencester as the base for the UK launch, with visiting media offered a wide range of scenic routes around the southern Coltswolds and Gloucestershire.

Take a look around the new Colt CZC and it closely resembles the 206 CC from the rear, but is strikingly unique from the front aspect. It is the third member of the new Colt range and is available with either a 1.5-litre, normally-aspirated engine which delivers 107 bhp or a punchy turbo-charged version which offers an extra 40 bhp.

The range-topping model I tested for several hours will reach illegal speeds in around eight seconds and is quite capable of giving you a driving ban at a top speed of 126 mph….

Both engines deliver their power to the front wheels via a slick and precise five-speed manual transmission and braking benefits from the use of front ventilated discs and solid rears.

On bumpy country roads the new Colt is stable and handles well when pushed that little bit harder in spirited driving conditions. Mitsubishi has reinforced the chassis and uprated the suspension and the CZC does have a solid, confident feel to it.

As expected, the turbo unit provides that extra acceleration to get you through a tight overtaking manoeuvre and the excellent gear ratios make sure you can make rapid progress on open roads. Push the turbocharged engine a little harder into the rev range and it will respond with gusto above 4,500 rpm, although the rather staid engine and exhaust note is a little disappointing for a sporty car.

The CZC is purpose-built for those all-too-rare summer days in the UK. I managed about an hour between clouds on some delightful winding roads around Bibury. The semi-automatic, steel hard-top opens and closes in around 20 seconds and two clip fasteners secure it to the windshield support. With the side windows in situ there is limited buffeting from the wind and the drive is comfortable.

The interior is small and compact and ideal for a young couple, but the 2+2 concept is not really practical. There is no space in the rear seats for humans with two grown adults in the front and this space is merely a token luggage storage area.

Mitsubishi has priced the Colt CZC competitively at either £13,999 for the normally-aspirated version and £15,999 for the turbocharged option. This compares with £14,145 for the Peugeot 206 CC and £14,495 for the Vauxhall Tigra.

For that your Colt will be equipped with front and side air bags, ABS brakes, air conditioning, central locking, 16-inch alloy wheels, a CD stereo system, colour coding and an immobiliser.

The company is confident that it will be able to sell 1,000 units this year, with the smaller engine accounting for around 65% of first-year sales and younger women targeted for a staggering 80% of sales. I’m inclined to agree and my wife has already made enquiries as to the state of our finances with a view to visiting the local dealer…..

Ends

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