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Geneva show: Mitsubishi teases next Outlander

Tiding us over: Mitsubishi has revealed this teaser shot of the next-generation Outlander compact SUV ahead of its public debut at the Geneva show in March.

Sneak peek of Mitsubishi’s redesigned Outlander before it debuts at Geneva in March

Mitsubishi logo20 Jan 2012

By MARTON PETTENDY

MITSUBISHI has released a teaser image of the production version of its next-generation Outlander compact SUV, which will make its global public debut at the Geneva motor show on March 6, before going on sale in Australia later this year.

Although the redesigned Outlander has already been previewed by the plug-in hybrid PX-MiEV and PX-MiEV II concepts (the latter of which GoAuto drove in Japan last month), this backlit front-end image reveals the new corporate face that will grace the new Outlander and all future Mitsubishi SUV models.

Featuring the same new bonnet and grille design, but bigger headlights and a new front bumper with large air intake, the new Outlander front-end will appear in various guises on the next-generation ASX mini-SUV, mid-size Challenger off-roader and Pajero full-size SUV.

Mitsubishi has not revealed which new model the teaser image previews, saying only that it will use Europe for the first time to stage the world debut of an all-new vehicle, which it describes as “a strategic and innovative premium vehicle, to be retailed sequentially during 2012 – a car of substance that will reflect a gradual transformation in Mitsubishi’s design language”.

21 center imageLeft: Mitsubishi PX-MiEV concept and new Mirage.

The Japanese brand’s Australian subsidiary has confirmed the new Outlander will become available here by the end of this year, while the plug-in hybrid electruc (PHEV) version – based on the PX-MiEV concept – will join the initial petrol and diesel models on sale in 2013.

Along with the new Mirage light-car, which will replace the Colt and will come to local showrooms from Thailand in the final quarter of 2012, the next Outlander represents an all-new generation of global models for Mitsubishi Motors, as part of its “Jump 2013” business plan, which calls for “a greener and more global Mitsubishi”.

“Fittingly, this complete family of cars/crossovers/SUVs will see a gradual transition to a re-focused design language,” said Mitsubishi.

“This re-focused design language, while still being formulated, is envisaged as an open design concept, meant to be flexible enough to suit specific vehicle requirements whilst staging Mitsubishi’s famous Three Diamond logo accordingly.

“Refined yet assertive, this new engineering-driven look can be understood as the new expression of Mitsubishi’s near century-old tradition of technology tailored for today’s world – the one that recently brought i-MiEV, the 4N1 Clean Diesel engine, Green Plastics and the same one that will bring innovative proprietary PHEV technologies next year, based on MMC’s state-of-the-art electric vehicle know-how that led to i-MiEV, prior to other future significant breakthroughs.” As we have reported, a plug-in hybrid version of the pint-size ASX crossover may beat a similarly electrified version of the new Outlander by the end of this year, while Mitsubishi will also release an all-electric version of its new Mirage.

In addition to the i-MiEV, Australia’s first factory electric vehicle, the three plug-in models will be among eight EV or plug-in hybrid vehicles to be produced by the Japanese manufacturer by 2015, spreading across the range as Mitsubishi attempts to cut its average CO2 emissions in half by 2020.

The plug-in Outlander-previewing PX-MiEV II has a driving range of 50km on lithium-ion battery power alone, before a larger 2.0-litre petrol engine kicks in to generate electricity for a targeted cruising range of up to 800km, resulting in claimed combined-cycle fuel consumption of at least 60km per litre (1.67L/100km).

A 60kWh electric motor powers the front wheels in normal driving, but the PX-MiEV II, which was said to be 70 per cent close to the styling of the production Outlander, can switch to all-wheel drive by powering a similar electric motor on the rear axle when wheel slip is detected.

MMC says the 100 per cent instant torque provided by the electric motors from a standing start provide acceleration comparable to that of a 3.0-litre V6 engine, while dynamic performance benefits from the use of Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) traction control system based on the 4WD technology developed in the Lancer Evolution X.

The five-seat PX-MiEV II was slightly longer and lower than the original concept, measuring 4660mm long, 1830mm wide and 1680mm high, and is believed to ride on the same 2630mm wheelbase as the first PX-MiEV.

The current Outlander is bigger in all directions at 4665mm long, 1800mm wide and 1720mm high, with a 2670mm wheelbase.

Mitsubishi’s next Outlander is expected to be based on a variation of the existing ‘GS’ platform that underpins the Lancer and ASX, making its plug-in drivetrain applicable to the Outalnder’s smaller siblings.

Mitsubishi released a lightly revised 2012 Outlander range here in October, bringing minor exterior changes, interior improvements, additional safety equipment and price increases of up to $1000 on some variants.

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