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Mitsubishi puts new Outlander through final paces

Mitsubishi teases all-new Outlander medium SUV and shows off-road credentials


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27 Jan 2021

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation (MMC) has started a teaser campaign in the lead-up to the reveal of its all new Outlander mid-sized SUV, releasing a video this week showing an advanced development vehicle undergoing its final testing and calibration.


The 16-second clip posted to YouTube features a heavily camouflaged development vehicle being put through its paces on a variety of surfaces in equally varied conditions with the new model set to debut on February 16.


Given MMC’s ‘Super All-Wheel Control system’ has long been one of the Outlander’s drawcards, it is fitting that all the clips contained within the video were shot off-road with just a single snippet being captured on a bitumen surface.


With a new catch-phrase of “tested to be tough” it would be safe to assume MMC is looking to up the Outlander’s off-road credentials with the new model, a motion reflected by the difficulty of some of the terrain covered including a particularly steep gravel ascent, deep mud pit and ice.


“We took everything we know about on- and off-road driving from the rally experiences to apply the latest Super All-Wheel Control technology in our newly developed platform,” chief engineer Kentaro Honda said.


“We also specifically developed a new drive mode selector to provide confident driving at all times and in all weather conditions.


“We hope that many customers will have great experiences with the enhanced driving performance of the all-new Outlander.”


Specifically, MMC says the new model builds on the heritage of the rugged Pajero and Pajero Sport off-roaders as well as the brand’s long history competing in the Dakar Rally and World Rally Championship (WRC).


Due to the mass of camouflage adorning the test mule, it is hard to draw many meaningful conclusions on the new Outlander’s styling however there are a few key elements that are undisguisable, the most prominent being the new light signature.


Taking a leaf out of Hyundai’s book, MMC designers have set the new Outlander’s headlights low down in the cheeks of the front fascia while the bulbous bonnet-line is underlined by thin daytime running lights.


While hard to see initially, the front end is arranged in the latest evolution of the brand’s ‘Dynamic Shield’ design language and looks altogether chunkier than the current model.


As for the profile, the silhouette looks to have been squared off more compared to the current model with the whole package taking on a slightly boxier design, similar to the bigger Pajero Sport.


While nothing has been confirmed yet by MMC, the new model is expected to share its powertrain and underpinnings with the next-generation Nissan X-Trail and will once again be offered in Australia with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain.


For reference, the current model is powered by a range of engines including a 110kW/190Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol (manual only), a 124kW/220Nm 2.4-litre unit paired exclusively to a continuously variable transmission and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four.


The PHEV powertrain meanwhile pairs the aforementioned 2.4-litre petrol mill with a 13.8kWh battery and two electric motors producing a combined 157kW/332Nm.


Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited sold 12,004 Outlanders in 2020, accounting for 7.9 per cent of the crucial mid-sized SUV segment and marking a 31.5 per cent slip on the 17,514 units it shifted in 2019.

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