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New York show: Mitsubishi upgrades Outlander

Evo-lutionary: The Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype points to the facelift version of the compact SUV.

Outlander GT Prototype heralds a midlife facelift for Mitsubishi’s compact SUV

14 Apr 2009

MITSUBISHI has revealed a midlife facelift for its popular compact SUV – in the form of the so-called Outlander GT Prototype.

Unveiled at last week’s New York motor show, the revised Outlander wagon’s exterior styling borrows heavily from the Lancer Evo X by featuring a new grille design inspired by the turbocharged sports sedan’s “jet fighter” front-end.

Mitsubishi has confirmed the “GT Prototype” previews a global upgrade for the second-generation Outlander launched here in November 2006, but will not confirm an Australian on-sale date for the production version, which is believed to be identical to the GT concept.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited’s senior manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher confirmed elements of the Outlander GT Prototype were scheduled to be part of a facelift for the Outlander.

“But I can’t reveal any timing for Australia at this stage because that remains the subject of a lot of discussion right now,” she said.

The “all-new design study”, which “provides clear indicators of the future of Outlander”, took pride of place within the Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) exhibit at the Big Apple show, which concludes on April 19.

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“The Outlander GT Prototype is packed with technology, performance and premium features that are uncommon in the compact SUV class,” said the executive vice-president of MMNA, John Koenig. “Along with its faster heartbeat, we also wanted to quicken pulses by channelling the look of our sportiest cars.” Apart from a new Evo-style front and rear bumpers, reshaped side mirrors and a new bonnet, the GT concept features revised bi-Xenon headlights, new side skirts and a polished finish for the standard aluminium roof panel.

Mitsubishi has also confirmed the GT Prototype – and presumably also the production version – will come with an improved version of Mitsubishi’s all-alloy 3.0-litre SOHC MIVEC V6.

Key revisions include reduced intake system restriction, optimised camshaft timing and a different compression ratio – changes that are claimed to increase peak engine output by about 8kW to 170kW, as well as delivering a better torque curve, improved throttle response and lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

According to Mitsubishi, also assisting to reduce consumption is an upgraded automatic transmission that features an upgraded shift program and Idle Neutral Logic, which automatically shifts the gearbox into neutral when the vehicle is stationary.

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Sneak peek: Mitsubishi Outlander GT at New York

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