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Geneva show: Mitsubishi teases compact SUV

Little battler: Mitsubishi’s Geneva show car will go into battle with the likes of strong competition from Mazda and its CX-3 and the HR-V from Honda.

Shady profile pic previews Mitsubishi’s compact SUV range addition

Mitsubishi logo25 Jan 2017

By DANIEL GARDNER

MITSUBISHI’S SUV family is a step closer to the fiercely competitive compact segment with a new crossover that is primed to make its debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

The mysterious model has been teased by the Japanese car-maker in a low-lit image ahead of its public reveal in Switzerland, highlighting a number of styling signatures seen on both previous concepts and subsequent production cars alike.

While some pundits predict the new car to serve as a replacement for Mitsubishi’s popular ASX, a short statement accompanying the first look dowses rumours and confirms that the show car will slot into the existing range as a new, as yet unnamed model.

“The new compact SUV will be added to MMC’s (Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) crossover SUV line-up which currently comprises the ASX compact SUV, and the Outlander and Outlander PHEV mid-size SUVs,” it said.

Instead of a production model based on the protracted line of XR-PHEV concepts that surfaced at the 2013 Tokyo show, it is more likely the car that rolls out in Switzerland has roots in the more recent eX-Concept that first surfaced at the same show in 2015.

The single image offers more than just an outline of the forthcoming crossover with a good view of the front and rear lights in profile, as well as the car’s silhouette and some key styling signatures such as the side window design, which is steeply raked towards the rear, matching the rear window.

Mitsubishi describes the look as “a sharp and active looking coupe SUV that represents MMC’s vehicles”.

The car-maker also says the vehicle has pumped up “heavily flared” front and rear wheel arches that create the “powerful image of a stocky track athlete”.

If the production version borrows attributes from the eX-Concept it will measure up smaller than the ASX with a 4240mm length, 1780mm width and 1575mm height, and is highly likely to have the plug-in hybrid powertrain that Mitsubishi is reinventing itself with.

Mitsubishi’s trademark ‘dynamic shield’ front end is also expected to feature on the new model, continuing the family tradition from the Pajero Sport, Outlander and facelifted ASX, but confirmation will have to wait until a full-frontal view is revealed.

Keen-eyed Mitsu fans will feel a sense of deja vu with a previous dimly-lit profile picture of a metallic red SUV released almost exactly a year ago.

While that car bears some strikingly similar features to the latest red SUV, the 2015 concept was confirmed to be the XR-PHEV, which is touted to preview a new ASX model.

More information regarding powertrain, Australian prospects and other views of the vehicle are expected in the build up to the compact Mitsubishi’s debut at the Geneva motor show that opens for the press on March 7.

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