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Mitsubishi shows off new Outlander, here H2

Mitsubishi tears the covers off its all-new RAV4-baiting Outlander medium SUV

17 Feb 2021

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation (MMC) has revealed its new-generation Outlander SUV with the mid-sized family hauler riding on an all-new platform, brandishing a fresh look and powered by a new range of engines.


Due to arrive Down Under later this year, the fourth-gen Outlander is almost unrecognisable compared to its third-gen predecessor, taking on a much blockier exterior design under the “Bold Stride” design concept.


A few signature MMC cues have remained however, chief among which is the Dynamic Shield front end, albeit the latest version of it.


To describe the new Outlander as looking like a scaled-down Pajero Sport from the front and side would be more than reasonable however from the back it resembles a combination of the outgoing model and the last-generation Lancer hatchback.


Compared to its predecessor, the new Outlander is bigger in every dimension, measuring 4710mm long (+15mm), 1862mm wide (+51mm) and 1748mm tall (+38mm) with the body riding on a 2706mm wheelbase (+36mm).


The result of this growth is an increase in interior space however MMC is yet to confirm exactly how much other than a 35mm increase in shoulder room.


Under the skin, the new platform has been designed with ruggedness and occupant safety in mind with bigger brakes in all four corners as well as a stiffer overall suspension set-up.


The Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system (on AWD variants) has been upgraded too with an expansion of the active yaw-control to the rear axle as well as the front.


Aiding the handling further is the new, faster electromechanical steering which now turns from lock to lock in 2.6 turns as opposed to the current 3.3.


To get the most out of the vehicle both on and off-road, two-wheel-drive variants are fitted with five distinct drive modes – normal, eco, tarmac (sport), gravel and snow – all selectable from a new rotary selector on the centre console.


All-wheel drives step things up with an extra ‘mud’ mode.


Under the bonnet of initial offerings is a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine set to be shared – along with the platform – with the next-generation Nissan X-Trail, developing 135kW of power and 245Nm of torque, marking an 11kW/25Nm improvement over the current 2.4-litre engine.


That power is sent to the wheels via a new shift-by-wire continuously variable transmission featuring an ‘eight-speed’ sport mode.


More than just a power increase, MMC says the new engine and transmission combination is 2.6 per cent more fuel efficient that the current set-up on the WLTP cycle.


Inside the cabin, the interior layout has been changed perhaps more drastically than the exterior with a new 8.0- or 9.0-inch (variant dependant) infotainment touchscreen sitting prominently at the top of the dashboard.


Below the new screen in a thin row of air vents, underlined by a full-width trim piece and the climate control switchgear.


In front of the driver will be either a semi-analogue instrument cluster split by a 7.0-inch digital display or a 12.3-inch all-digital set-up with full customisation depending on the trim level.


The centre console is left almost exclusively for the gear lever, drive mode selector, park brake and auto-hold button as well as a set of cupholders.


While Australian pricing and specification details are yet to be revealed, MMC has confirmed some of the standard equipment highlights of the North American Outlanders (the first market it will arrive in).


Three-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, head-up display, Mitsubishi Connect, 10-speaker Bose sound system, wireless smartphone charging, 40:20:40 split-folding second row, rear door sunshade as well as the aforementioned driver and infotainment displays are all fitted as standard.


Seat upholstery with be made up of fabric (ES), suede (SE), semi-aniline leather (SEL Touring) and genuine leather (SEL).


Safety tech on the North American cars meanwhile includes adaptive cruise, lane keep assist and 11 airbags.


MMC chief executive officer Takao Kato said the new Outlander has been “crafted into a reliable SUV with significantly upgraded styling, road performance, and a high-quality feel to satisfy the needs of customers who want to expand their horizons and take on challenges of every kind”.


The brand sold 979 examples of the current Outlander last month, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the crowded sub-$60,000 medium SUV segment compared to the 1003 units it shifted in January 2020.

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