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Future models - Mitsubishi - Outlander

No oiler but smoother Evo look for Outlander

Aggressive: Outlander GT concept heralds a midlife makeover for Mitsubishi's compact SUV, due here in October.

Facelifted Outlander is two months away but don't hold your breath for a diesel-auto

7 Aug 2009

MITSUBISHI will next month reveal the revamp for its now three-year-old Outlander range, but the new fresh-faced line-up won’t include a diesel engine.

Mitsubishi will not divulge any detail on the new model because it is still "a couple of months" away from Australia, meaning an October local launch.

However, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) brand and marketing vice-prsident Paul Unerkov did comfirm that what he describes as a “full facelift” will not include a much-touted diesel engine - as seen in the Outlander and its Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 clones in Europe.

“(The turbo-diesel engine) is not part of this change,” he said. “Certainly it’s something we’re still working on for Outlander/Lancer, as they’re the same base vehicles. We would like it, but (it won’t happen) in these MY2010 changes.”

21 center imageMr Unerkov said Mitsubishi's Outlander diesel dilemma centres on the same problems previously publicised - the price of the diesel engine and engineering an automatic transmission for it.

“Just getting it at the right price (and) development (is delaying it),” he said. “Diesel with (an) automatic transmission... it’s in development but hasn’t been completed.” Mitsubishi does not want to release the diesel Outlander as a manual-only model because it believes sales would be limited, with the Australian market expected to more readily accept an automatic model.

Mr Unerkov said that when the Outlander diesel-auto does emerge, it is likely to be offered in high-grade variants, at least initially. “It’ll probably be a premium model and come down the range later,” he said.

The MY2010 Outlander has not been revealed but the facelifted model is believed to strongly follow the example set by the Outlander GT Prototype that Mitsubishi showed at the New York motor show earlier this year.

Aside from a minor improvement to the outputs of the 3.0-litre V6 and upgrades for the automatic transmission, Mitsubishi also reshaped the grille to appear more like the Lancer Evo X, added new front guards, side mirrors and a new bonnet. The result is a more agressive Evo-look for Mitsubishi's seven-seat 'compact' SUV, as well as claimed aerodynamic improvements.

Mitsubishi is also set to release an MY2010 Lancer in coming months, although Mr Unerkov describes the changes as minor. They will include improved sound deadening for the Lancer Evolution to counter customer complaints of excessive noise.

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