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Bangkok show: Mitsubishi heralds Mirage sedan

Familiar face: This teaser image shows that the forthcoming new compact sedan has similar proportions to the Mirage hatch and familiar styling cues.

Mitsubishi ‘G4’ concept to preview new-generation global compact sedan

Mitsubishi logo5 Mar 2013

By TERRY MARTIN

MITSUBISHI’S highly anticipated Mirage-based compact sedan will be shown in near-production form at the Bangkok International Motor Show later this month, ahead of an expected Australian arrival early in 2014.

To be built in Thailand alongside the Mirage hatchback, the sedan is for now only described as a concept – dubbed ‘G4’ – but Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has made it clear that it previews its next-generation global four-door model for the compact-car class.

Full details are still to emerge, but the teaser image released this week indicates that the sedan has similar proportions to the Mirage hatch and familiar styling cues, with some motor show treats such as LED headlights thrown in.

It is still to be confirmed whether the new sedan will be sold under the Mirage nameplate in this market, or whether Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will follow Nissan’s lead with the Micra hatch and closely related Almera sedan.

MMAL vice-president of customer and brand Paul Unerkov has told GoAuto that the G4 previews the “next-generation compact sedan which we are looking to release in the future” but said the production model would differ from the concept to be shown in Bangkok.

He added that specific markets and launch timing were yet to be confirmed.

Mitsubishi is aiming to increase its overall sales 15 per cent this year to around 70,000 units, with the Mirage accounting for no less than 12,000 of those.

Although the company managed only 534 Mirage sales in January, figures released this week show that it hit back in February with 1154 sales.

The sedan version will play an important role in boosting Mitsubishi’s light-car sales further, while other variants such as a sportier hatch and petrol-electric hybrid are also in the pipeline.

As GoAuto has reported, the safety credentials of the new Mirage were recently confirmed with a five-star crash-test rating handed down by the authoritative independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

With the maximum five stars increasingly considered a prerequisite for car buyers, the recently released Mirage’s result marks a considerable improvement over its predecessor, the Colt, which managed only three stars and was removed from sale in Victoria when legislation demanded the fitment of electronic stability control (ESC).

ESC is standard across the new Mirage range, along with six airbags and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

The Mirage is currently priced from $12,990 (plus on-road costs) and relies on a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine delivering 57kW of power at 6000rpm and 100Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

It is one of the most economical non-hybrid petrol models available, achieving an official combined fuel economy figure of just 4.6 litres per 100km with the standard five-speed manual, or 4.9L/100km with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT).

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