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Geneva show: Mitsubishi reveals new Outlander

Covers off: The new Mitsubishi Outlander has appeared in production-ready guise ahead of its public debut in Geneva.

All-new Mitsubishi Outlander emerges ahead of Australian debut late this year

Mitsubishi logo10 Feb 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

MITSUBISHI has revealed the first official image of its new Outlander compact SUV ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show and arrival in Australian showrooms by the end of this year.

Closely resembling the PX-MiEV II concept from the 2011 Tokyo show, it is set to feature fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions on par with class leaders as well as advanced safety technologies.

The streamlined grille design also premieres the brand’s new corporate ‘face’ that will grace all of its future SUV models.

The diamond brand’s crucial new model is likely to be just one of several compact SUVs making their first public appearances at the annual Swiss extravaganza that kicks off on March 6.

As we reported this week, Nissan is expected to unveil a concept version of its third-generation X-Trail, while Opel’s stand will feature the Mokka crossover – which is a strong chance to emerge Down Under next year.

The new Outlander will become available here by the end of the year in petrol and diesel form before being joined by a plug-in hybrid version during 2013.

Details remain scarce, but Mitsubishi has confirmed petrol variants will be powered by a version of its 2.0-litre SOHC four-cylinder ‘MIVEC’ engine, complete with an all-new valve train.

Diesel variants will be powered by a 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit with a low 14.9:1 compression ratio, helping it to meet the latest European emissions regulations.

The addition of an idle-stop fuel-saving system, reduced body weight and improved vehicle aerodynamics are said to help the new Outlander achieve impressively low levels of fuel consumption.

Mitsubishi has targeted CO2 emissions of 130 grams per kilometre for the entry-level two-wheel-drive diesel variant with a six-speed manual, which equates to fuel consumption of just 4.9 litres per 100km.

The new model will also be equipped with an ‘eco-friendly driving system’ that notifies the driver when they are driving at maximum efficiency.

While no new information has been revealed on the plug-in petrol drivetrain, the test mule version that we drove in Tokyo last December (see separate story) returned just 1.7L/100km on the Japanese combined cycle.

The plug-in variant – which is expected to charge a “small premium” over the combustion-engined versions – can also be driven more than 50km in pure electric mode.

Mitsubishi has also confirmed the new Outlander will feature active and preventative safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking that can automatically stop the car when it detects obstacles, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

No images of the production model’s interior have been released, but Mitsubishi claims it will feature a glossy black instrument panel with silver-accented switches and soft-touch dashboard trim.

The driver will also have access to “easily-operable” steering wheel controls and high-resolution instrument displays.

Second- and third-row seats (confirmation that brand will continue to offer a seven-seat version) are said to fold flat into the floor to maximise luggage space.

A power-operated tailgate – long the domain of premium SUVs – will also be available.

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