News - Mitsubishi
New York show: Mitsubishi confirms new medium SUV
Size matters: The eX concept from last year’s Tokyo motor show is likely to be the basis for the next-generation ASX, which will shrink in size compared with the current model.
Mitsubishi to launch CX-5-rivalling mid-sizer, downsize ASX and grow next Outlander
27 March 2016
MITSUBISHI Motors has outlined its new SUV strategy that includes introducing
an all-new mid-size SUV that will push the next-generation Outlander up into
the large-SUV segment to pump gloves with the Toyota Kluger.
The plan that will roll out by the end of the decade also includes plans to
shrink the 2017 ASX down to Mazda CX-3 size.
Speaking to Australian journalists at the New York motor show last week,
Mitsubishi Motors of North America executive vice-president Don Swearingen
reiterated the company’s plan to focus on SUVs, pitching no less than three
small-to-medium crossovers in place of ageing or discontinued nameplates
including Lancer and Galant respectively.
“This is the strategy we’re going with, and we’ve just announced this to our
dealers a couple of weeks ago,” he stated.
“Mitsubishi will take the next Outlander, which will grow in width and in
length; the Outlander Sport (ASX of North America), which is our number-one
seller in the US, we will take that down a little bit in size, and if you look
at the (eX Concept) prototype we just showed in Geneva, it will be formed over
that car; and then we will come in the middle with a new CUV (Crossover Utility
Vehicle),” he said.
“I think we are clearly seeing consumers moving away from sedans and going into
CUVs, and we feel we need three cars in that segment.”
The mid-size SUV is said to be about the size of the highly successful Mazda
CX-5, creating a logical walk up from the downsized next-gen ASX to the larger
new Outlander, which will most likely become a Toyota Kluger and Kia Sorento
The new ASX is expected to be revealed first, likely during 2017, followed by
the mid-size SUV in 2018, while the new, larger Outlander will be uncovered
before the end of the decade.
“You’ll see that Mitsubishi will come with a new model vehicle every year
between now and 2020,” Mr Swearingen said.
Each SUV will offer electrification, cementing Mitsubishi’s growing global
reputation as a leader in low-emissions crossovers, as witnessed by the
“Our plan with these three SUVs is to also have fully electric or plug-in
hybrid versions of each vehicle,” he said.
“And you’re going to see that with improvements because it will be the next
level of battery technology for us.”
Mr Swearingen added that performance versions will also be spun off some or all
of the hybrid SUVs, to help connect the future green vision with Mitsubishi’s
illustrious motorsport heritage made famous by now-defunct nameplates such as
the Lancer Evo.
“You will most likely see a performance version of a CUV in the future too,” he
“What’s key for us is brand awareness… we don’t have the marketing expense of a
Toyota or a Ford or a GM, so we have to be very smart as to how we do it.
“We look at the public awareness of all of our names, and consider whether we’
ll use them again, or determine whether we actually start from scratch and
build a new awareness. It costs a lot of money to do it, we’ll evaluate the
business case, and make the decision from there.”
There is still no word on the future of the ageing full-sized Pajero, but the
Triton pick-up and its Pajero Sport passenger-vehicle offshoot will continue.
What’s coming – Mitsubishi’s new SUV strategy
2017 – Smaller ASX
2018 – New mid-size SUV
2019 – Larger Outlander IV