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Mitsubishi confirms ASX for Oz

Stock marque: Mitsubishi's compact SUV will go by the name of ASX in Australia, instead of the alternative moniker, RVR.

All-new compact Mitsubishi SUV will go by the ASX name in Australia form August

7 May 2010

MITSUBISHI has confirmed its all-new compact crossover will wear the ASX nameplate when it goes on sale in Australia in August.

The announcement comes as a surprise, given the ASX name – which Mitsubishi advises stands for ‘Active Smart crossover’ and will also be worn by the new sub-Outlander model in Europe – is the official abbreviation for the Australian stock exchange.

As expected, Mitsubishi Australia has also confirmed that its new sub-compact crossover, which is known as the RVR in Japan, will be available here with both diesel and petrol engines.

Sales start in the UK on July 1 after the release of full pricing and specification this week in Britain, where both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations will be available.

The ASX is priced between £14,999 ($A25,000) and £22,049 ($A36,775) in the UK, and Mitsubishi is expected to follow suit by opening the local ASX range with a petrol-powered front-drive model priced from about $25,000.

Positioned between the Lancer sedan and hatchback (from $21,990) and the seven-seat Outlander SUV (from $33,240), the ASX will be Mitsubishi’s first direct rival for entry-level compact SUVs like Nissan’s Dualis and the Kia Sportage, front-drive 2.0-litre petrol versions of which are both priced from $24,990.

“The ASX is primarily a city car – very stylish and manoeuvrable around town – and the adoption of the European brand name reflects this,” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited president and CEO Masahiko Takahashi.

“But ASX is more than just a pretty face. It also has the added benefit of being very smart, especially in terms of the technology that drives its engineering, design and all-wheel drive ability.”

21 center imageFirst previewed by the Concept-cX show car that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show, the ASX/RVR will be available in Europe with an 86kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine matched with a five-speed manual transmission, and a 110kW 1.8-litre DiD turbo-diesel mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

That latter is certain to become the ASX flagship in Australia, where the Japanese-market RVR’s larger 1.8-litre 16-valve DOHC MIVEC four-cylinder petrol engine – combined with a six-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) – is likely to be offered in place of Europe’s 1.6-litre petrol four.

In the UK, the petrol ASX will be exclusively front-drive, while Mitsubishi’s electronically controlled AWC all-wheel drive system will be available only with the 1.8 DiD model, which the company says is the world’s first passenger car application of variable valve timing with a diesel engine.

As we’ve reported previously, Europe’s diesel ASX will come standard with an automatic idle-stop system, plus other fuel-saving measures including electric power steering, low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative brakes, low viscosity oil and LED lighting.

All UK ASXs will come standard with electronic stability/traction control, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, seven airbags (including dual front/side/curtain and a driver’s knee airbag), hill-start assist, an emergency stop signal system, air-conditioning, an auxiliary-in jack, remote central locking and a tilt/reach-adjustable steering wheel.

The midrange ‘ASX3’ will add automatic climate-control, keyless starting, cruise control, heated seats, privacy glass, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, a leather-clad steering wheel and gearshifter, automatic headlights and wipers, and chrome exterior detailing.

Britain’s flagship ASX4 variant gains leather seat trim, a Kenwood entertainment system with iPod connectivity, satellite-navigation and a reversing camera.

“This is the right car at the right time at the right price and specification,” said Mitsubishi UK managing director Lance Bradley this week. “The CO2 reducing technologies will appeal to fleets, user-choosers and retail customers alike – indeed, early customer reaction has been very positive with advance orders already taken.

“We’re targeting customers who would traditionally buy a C-segment car, such as the VW Golf and Ford Focus, but also people looking to downsize from their SUV or family estate car. With the ASX you really do get the best of every world.

“It’s a game-changer for us, which could easily become a new ‘hero’ vehicle for the brand and heralds the advent of our new ‘Intelligent Motion’ philosophy.”

Measuring 4295mm long, 1770mm wide, 1625mm high and riding on a 2670mm wheelbase, the five-door, five-seat ASX features pedestrian-friendly plastic front guards and will come with a maximum five-star ENCAP safety rating.

UK specifications show the front-drive petrol ASX2 has a kerb weight of just 1270kg, increasing to 1290kg (ASX3 and ASX4 petrol) and 1450kg for the top-shelf ASX3 and ASX4 diesel AWD. Luggage capacity extends from 442 to 1193 litres with the rear seats folded, while towing capacities are 1100kg (petrol) and 1400kg (diesel).

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