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Mirage styling for smaller Mitsubishi Lancer

Hello, ladies: Mitsubishi styled its new Mirage light car to make it appeal to women.

Mitsubishi set to soften styling for more compact next-generation Lancer small car

Mitsubishi logo22 Oct 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

MITSUBISHI Motors will scale back the size of its next-generation Lancer small car and apply the new Mirage light car’s softer design language as an attempt to attract more female buyers, according to the company’s global president, Osamu Masuko.

Speaking on his first visit to an Australian motor show last week, Mr Masuko said that both the all-new Mirage and Outlander SUV at the show preview the styling direction for Mitsubishi’s passenger cars and SUVs.

He also ruled out a follow-up to the overseas market Galant mid-size sedan that shared underpinnings with the Australian 380 and was recently discontinued, agreeing that if customers wanted a Mitsubishi bigger than a Lancer they would have to buy an SUV.

Mr Masuko described the process of following up the current Lancer as “a challenge to create a very new car” and confirmed it will be smaller than the model that has been in Australian showrooms since 2007.

“The current Lancer has now become almost the same size as the old Galant, so we are aiming to come in mid-way between the old Lancer and the current Lancer in size,” he said.

Mitsubishi’s new Thai-built Mirage light hatch has a more aerodynamic but arguably plainer front end than the Colt it replaces, which in post-2008 facelift guise shared the gaping grille design that debuted on the Lancer, and was then adopted on the Outlander in 2009 and ASX in 2010.

Mr Masuko described this corporate face as “very sporty, with a big mouth, and it is man-like – but it is not really appealing to the ladies”.

“Therefore, for the Mirage we would like to attract female customers as well so we made the design a little bit softer,” he said.

“We would like many countries and many customers to accept that car (the Mirage) so for that I think having a softish face is important.”

Asked if the new Lancer’s styling was likely to follow in the footsteps of the Mirage, and if future SUVs will take on the unique design direction of the Outlander, Mr Masuko said: “I think that would be the case, yes”.

Mr Masuko’s comments appear to contradict Mitsubishi’s corporate general manager for the Global Small (Mirage) project, Takashi Sato, who told Australian media in Thailand in May he did not think the Mirage’s aerodynamics-led styling was likely to be seen elsewhere in the range.

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