2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

The all-new, second-generation Mitsubishi Outlander for 2007 offers a compelling blend of driven-to-thrill dynamics, bold styling, five- or seven-passenger versatility, plus the segment’s first flap-fold tailgate for easy loading and several user-technology firsts for the compact SUV segment. The larger 2007 Outlander is based on a new performance-engineered global platform that will also form the foundation of the next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution models. All Outlander models are powered exclusively by a new 3.0-liter 220 hp aluminum MIVEC V-6 engine teamed to a six-speed Sportronic(R) automatic transmission (with magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters in XLS models). Bringing innovation to the segment, the Outlander will be the first PZEV V-6 SUV offered in the U.S.

After the successful launch of the L200 “Sport Utility Truck” in early 2006 and right after the international market introduction of the fourth generation Pajero*, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will launch the next generation Outlander during the first quarter of 2007.

Mitsubishi Outlander

A derivative of the all-new Outlander launched in Japan in October 2005 (with sales going very strongly in its domestic market: 24,627 sales October 2005 / July 2006 against a 12 month objective of 17,000 units) - this second generation Outlander will be the third building block of MMC’s new 4x4 strategy in the region, at the heart of a very targeted 4x4 line up in Europe, completely renewed in less than 12 months !

Outlander will also preview in Europe Mitsubishi Motors’ first ever global platform. Engineered by MMC for world markets and co-developed with DaimlerChrysler A.G., it will also lead 10 new models in various segments of the market, to be launched within the next coming years. Designed from the outset for world markets, it will enjoy the built-in flexibility needed to accommodate regional needs and regulations as well as market trends and new customer demands.

Mitsubishi Outlander

This competent and flexible platform will feature – amongst others - advanced AWC (All Wheel Control) technologies, proven through MMC’s racing activities, as well as derivatives of the so-called “World Engine”, developed with DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai Hyundai Motor Company. As further evidence of its adaptability, models from business partner DaimlerChrysler A.G. – with which it was co-developed - are / will also be based on this global platform.

Lastly, Outlander has itself been chosen by P.S.A. Peugeot Citroën to form the basis of two new SUVs to be launched in 2007.

New dimension

Stylish, clever, Diesel-powered from launch and gifted with great dynamics, Outlander will allow Mitsubishi Motors to enter the fastest growing SUV segment (up 54% from 325,000 in 2001 to 500,000 in 2006 and with further 35% growth expected between 2006 and 2009), right in the heart of this sector, against the likes of Toyota RAV-4.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Of particular importance in Europe, the availability of a Diesel engine (VAG-sourced, with DPF filter, according to models and markets) from start will allow it to challenge the heart of the market, covering 63% of the segment, as opposed to 37% for its petrol-only predecessor.

“Mount Fuji”  

Clearly inspired by the 2002 Pajero Evo 2+2 concept, from its Europe-specific “Mount Fuji” grille up to the A-pillars and windshield, Outlander’s front design blends into the muscular fenders with flared wheelarches and sharp lines, leaving no doubt about its dynamic abilities.

Ten centimeters longer than the outgoing model, wide (1,80m), lean and low, Outlander brings drama without gratuitous effects, its kicked-up window line, sharp headlamps and 18” alloy wheels (availability according to versions and market) giving the appearance of permanent motion.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The rear sends the same dynamic message, doing away with a “wannabe” external spare tire for the striking arch-like combination of wraparound LED lamps and (black privacy) backlight.

Driver’s

Handing over the role of authentic off-roader to Pajero*, Outlander is nevertheless a no-compromise solution for a different type of recreational vehicle with high levels of active and passive safety.

Using the in-built adaptability of MMC´s new global platform, it brings passenger car-like levels of active safety and driving pleasure, thanks to its 4-wheel independent suspension, high performance brakes and low center of gravity. The latter is helped by an aluminum roof panel, using technology tested with the Lancer Evolution IX.

Less extreme than the rugged, transfer-case equipped Pajero*, Outlander aims at fulfilling the requirements of an all-weather grand-tourer, on road or on track, featuring an all-new All Wheel Control drive-train. Marrying the Active Stability Control technology (incl. Traction Control) to an electronically-managed 4-wheel drive system, it allows smooth progression on dirt tracks or in difficult weather conditions from 2WD up to a “Lock 4WD” mode.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Engine-wise, Outlander-Concept is powered by a derivative of the Volkswagen AG-supplied 1,968 cc, turbo-charged w/intercooler, DOHC, 16-valve, EU-4 compliant Diesel powerplant fitted to the recent Grandis Di-D. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, in Outlander it produces an estimated 103kW / 140 ps, plus 310Nm of torque, for a top speed of 187 km/h**.

A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) will be made available on the upcoming production car – according to models and markets - whilst further engines will be launched alongside later on, including an all-new Mitsubishi Motors-developed 162kW / 220ps** petrol 3.0 liter V6 with MIVEC variable valve timing technology, plus a 125kW / 170ps 2.4 liter variant of the new petrol “World Engine”.

Clever

Flexible in essence, the next generation Outlander has been designed as a stylish living space, able to suit all requirements and with features – to be found later on in the production car - to match.

Highlights include:

  •  Entertainment: Outlander is equipped with a 650W 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate? premium audio system with 25 cm subwoofer, 8 speakers and Digital Signal Processor. The innovative hard disk-based navigation system with music server, 7” color touch screen, DVD player and integrated navigation incorporates a CD Database (CDDB) from GraceNote that relays information about the CD being played to the display screen.
  •  Seating: Outlander is the latest recipient of Mitsubishi Motors’ clever “Hide&Seat Seat ?” system that can be stowed under the floor when not needed. Applied to the 3rd row, it gives a two-seater forward-facing occasional bench seat complete with inertia seat belts and headrests for occasional 5+2 accommodation.
  •  Utility: Outlander uses a split tailgate to maximize the benefits of the low-floor luggage compartment and to give better access to the luggage compartment. The lower section opens at 600 mm above the ground, thereby allowing bulky items to be loaded / unloaded with ease, supporting a maximum of 200 kg. Splitting the tailgate means that the regularly used upper section is light and compact, enhancing ease of use.


Amongst other clever features, Outlander will also introduce in Europe MMC’s clever 2nd row Auto-Folding function.

From Outlander #1 to Outlander #2

Launched in the Spring of 2003 – and complemented by a hot 202 ps Turbo version since the end of 2004 - Outlander # 1 fitted the bill perfectly. However, even if it sold as planned (+/- 15,000 units a year), the lack of a Diesel engine prevented it to make further in-roads in the European market, covering only 37% of the mid-size SUV segment.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Using to the full the flexibility of its global platform, today’s second generation was designed from the outset for Diesel applications, overcoming this fundamental limitation.

Available from launch with a 2.0 liter VAG-sourced pump-jet engine, this bigger (4,64m vs. 4,54m), sharper and better appointed car will cover a wider spectrum, leading to a much higher 63% segment coverage. As such, it will:

  •  Exploit to the full the market opportunities of the growing mid-size SUV segment
  •  Liberate Pajero* from any SUV marketing duty, allowing it to move back to pure authenticity
  •  Complement the stunning all-new 4- and 5-door C-segment sedans - based on the same global platform - that Mitsubishi will launch from 2007 onward: a showroom alternative for those looking for the space and convenience of an upscale station wagon, in a shapely envelope

The rest of the volume is expected to come from loyal Mitsubishi customers, split mainly between:

  •  Satisfied owners of the first generation, willing to step up / forward
  •  Current Pajero* Sport drivers still looking for a stylish 4WD vehicle, but unable/unwilling to go all the way to Pajero* or considering L200 Double Cab too big and too tough for their needs and tastes

The available petrol engines (all-new Mitsubishi Motors-developed 162kW / 220ps** petrol V6 with MIVEC variable valve timing technology and 125kW / 170ps variant of the new petrol 4-cylinder “World Engine”) will widen even more Outlander’s marketing spectrum.


Extrerior design


Neither a jacked-up / dressed-up station wagon nor a wannabe off-roader, the next generation Outlander takes its design cues from Pajero Evo and cross-country racing (i.e.: the real thing). Doing so, it eschews the trapping into many with no 4x4 heritage have no choice but to fall into: that of trying to adapt one’s traditional passenger car vocabulary to the SUV format.

Mitsubishi Outlander

In that sense, Outlander brings a very Mitsubishi touch to SUV styling, interweaving “handsome” and “sporty” for a very sharp “Smart Smart x Sport” design theme, from its European-specific “Mount Fuji” grille to its arch-like backlight or very clean flanks.

Mount Fuji
  
Since its introduction in Europe in 2003 with Lancer and then followed by Evolution VIII, Colt and Grandis in 2004, Mitsubishi Motors’ signature “Mount Fuji” grille has been warmly welcomed by media, customers and dealers alike, creating for the first time a clearly recognizable visual identity for the

Brand.

In the face of this success, MMC has decided to make it specific to Europe, where it reflects acknowledged Mitsubishi’s sporting heritage and sharp Japanese modern styling.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Therefore, this is no surprise for the 4,64 m long Outlander (vs. 4,54 m for the outgoing Outlander) to be a further showcase of this strong visual identity, highlighted through the satin finish of both slats and surrounds as well as the trapezoidal shape of the headlamps.

Son of Pajero* Evo

Clearly inspired by the 2002 Pajero Evo 2+2 concept up to the A-pillars and windshield, Outlander- Concept’s front design blends into the muscular fenders with flared wheelarches and sharp lines, leaving no doubt about its dynamic abilities.

Just as for L200, Pajero Evo design elements abound:

  •  the curvature and shape of the windshield
  •  the flow of the front fenders
  •  the rounded bulging wheelarches
  •  the v-shape of the headlamps
  •  the “Mount Fuji” grille
  •  the tapered rear roof line
  •  the kick-up shape of the rear quarter light

At the back, the backlight wraps around into the sides, softening the upright tailgate lines and accenting the forward movement of the silhouette. One of many noticeable features, Outlander uses a split tailgate that boasts high utility. The lower section is integral with an oversized bumper, imparting a sportier dash to the rear end and giving it the light, rhythmic appearance of an awning. Visually appearing to be part of the rear window, the LED rear combination lamps – already used with Grandis - lend a futuristic and hi-tech accent to the rear view.

Mitsubishi Outlander


Clean-cut

In developing Outlander’s styling, the development team was searching for a design that would do away with meaningless devices: a gimmick-free design that would age gracefully, tailored for the discerning owner and one he/she would never tire of.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Reaching back to the principles that define the spirit of Mitsubishi Design – simple and sturdy in construction, fashionable, purposeful lines, understated detailing – the team injected a sizeable helping of modern SUV taste to create a design that embodies the very Japanese image of “a hard-tempered and keenly honed blade”.

The clean flanks, devoid of any fussy character line, the fine detailing (from the blade-like door handles, to the slick side body strips for instance, all treated in a subtle aluminum satin material), the chunky yet stylish alloy wheels***, the well-integrated roof rack*** or the privacy glass accentuated window graphics all hint at this deliberate choice.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Summing up this approach – bold in an environment of hype and look-alikes – is the absence of an outsize spare wheel: suited to a tough climber like Pajero*, it would have been totally out of place in a car backed by 70 years of 4x4 technology like the Mitsubishi Outlander…


Interior

Outlander’s interior was conceived to reflect the “Smart x Sport” design theme that steered Mitsubishi designers when creating the exterior. Clean cut and paying a lot of attention to details, this design powerfully blends sportiveness and functionality, qualities usually associated with an SUV interior.

Motorcycle motif

The interior’s sporty flavor derives in part from the use of a motorcycle motif best illustrated with the instrument cluster.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Its sunglass design dials use a metallic silver-on-black color scheme whilst the shape and trim of the center console evokes the image of a motorcycle frame. Repeated through the door armrest, this motif gives a purposeful character to the interior, well suited to Outlander’s target group.

Connecting the two sides of the interior in a single sweeping surface, the dashboard projects a similarly mature and sophisticated appearance with slick silver accents and fully integrated audio controls. The red instrument lighting contributes to the overall effect at night.

Mitsubishi Outlander


Steel

Serving as a counterpoint to the lateral sweep of the dashboard, the center console adds dashes of sport to the interior atmosphere. The console locates the rotary 4WD drive mode selector, preferred for an SUV like Outlander to the rough & tough image of a transfer case lever favored for off-roaders like Pajero* or L200.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Outlander’s interior color concept brings together the “steel” that represents Mitsubishi’s color design identity and colors that give a taste of its dynamics. Associated with images of malleability and of a keenly honed blade, steel fits into an interior color scheme using black with two shades of silver to stress the dynamic and purposeful stylishness of Outlander’s interior and overall character.

Dressed in a no frills silver-on-carbon black color scheme, Outlander’s interior uses two shades of silver to distinguish features and functions:

  •  dark silver for the structural areas, from the air conditioning vent surrounds to the center console;
  •   a high-precision light silver on the operating controls and functional areas including the steering wheel, A/T selector and instrument clusters.


Consistent with this “machined” look – and as for other recent products like Colt or L200 - Mitsubishi Design chose an innovative route, creating this new type of graining, fit for the artificial material used in cars, instead of trying to reproduce natural hide as done across the Industry for years.

The 3-spoke steering wheel is finished in the same light silver color as the meter panel. 380 mm in diameter, the sporty wheel is leather trimmed*** and its metal rim core reduces vibrations. As a preventive safety measure, remote controls for the audio system are located on one of the spokes, allowing the driver to adjust it without removing his hand from the wheel.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Driving seat

Outlander uses semi-bucket front seats with side bolsters designed to evoke its athletic road performance while seat and back squabs are shaped for easy entry/exit.

Here, Mitsubishi designers dedicated much time to select functional and classy looking materials
that would complement Outlander’s functionality.

To this purpose, front and second row seats use a non-slip suede knit fabric for the main areas with a close weave texture that creates a tasteful and sporty look. Side and thigh bolsters use a mesh fabric whose breathing properties enhance occupants’ comfort.

In the second row and third row on 5+2 seat versions, squab height rises the further back the seats are to provide a comfortable, open and airy layout for all passengers.


On-board Electronics

Since SUVs are all about life style, it became obvious very early on during the development process of the new Outlander that the car had to be as sharp in this area as it was to be in terms of design or dynamics.

These new features fall into three categories:

  •  premium sound system
  •  on-board electronics
  •  convenience


Premium Sound System

Piece of choice is certainly the new premium sound system designed for the Mitsubishi Outlander by Rockford Corporation and offered under the Rockford Fosgate? brand, in parallel to a more traditional unit (availability according to models and markets).

Mitsubishi Outlander

In details:

  •  650W high power amplifier:
    • The 8-channel amp pumps out a total of 650W of distortion-free power to deliver superior levels of audio quality.
  •  25cm subwoofer in 20-liter enclosure:
    • The system locates a 25 cm dual voice coil subwoofer in the left side of the luggage compartment. A 20-liter sealed enclosure designed specifically for Outlander extracts the full potential of the subwoofer for clear, full-bodied, heavy-bass sound reproduction.
  •  9 speakers in 7 positions:
    • The system uses a total of nine speakers in seven locations. The speakers use materials best matched to their particular location and are optimally laid out to create the ideal sound field space.
  •  Digital Sound Processor:
    • The premium sound system allows the listener to create the optimum field and acoustic characteristics to match the sound source and his preferences. The system is acoustically tuned exclusively for Outlander using a parametric equalizer that compensates for Outlander’s particular acoustic characteristics to produce smooth frequency characteristics, and a time alignment system that compensates for time delays arising due to differences in the distance between speaker and the listener to produce stable image phasing. The system provides the choice of four acoustic fields – normal, stage, live, and hall – and five sound types – classic, jazz, pop, rock, and hip-hop.
      Mitsubishi Outlander
  •  Vehicle speed quality compensation:
    • Road and wind noise increase with vehicle speed and make it difficult to achieve the same sound quality as when the vehicle is stationary. Outlander’s premium sound system uses vehicle speed-dependent sound quality compensation to deliver the same high quality sound when the vehicle is moving as when stopped. The system also compensates volume automatically for road and wind noise.
  •  Speaker box doors and deadening:
    • To extract every decibel from the system, Outlander uses sheet panel, ABS plastic covers and sound-absorbing material to seal the door openings and turn the doors into speaker boxes. The doors have also been stiffened to deaden unwanted vibration. The result is distortion-free, clear sound with crisp notes and rapid decay.
  •  Exclusive tweeter cover:
    • The premium sound system uses a punched mesh tweeter grille that provides a larger area than conventional plastic covers. The wafer thin grille covers a larger diagonal area, thereby extending the listening arc and realizing clearer treble range reproduction.

In addition to this outstanding sound system, the new Outlander will also offer the following high tech in-car entertainment systems (availability according to models and markets):

  •  Hard Disk Drive (HDD) 7-inch LCD monitor on-board navigation:
    • The Mitsubishi Multi-Communication System (MMCS) integrates audio, on-board navigation and other communication systems.


The system uses a 30 GB hard disk drive and 7-inch LCD display with touch-panel operation. The main unit is slightly wider than 2DIN size for easier operation of the controls. The navigation system utilizes hard disk drive capacity to the maximum and uses dedicated LSI circuitry to provide ultra-fast search and access to 3D city maps, 3D polygon landmarks, detailed maps, photographs of sightseeing spots and other data-rich navigational content.

Mitsubishi Outlander

MMCS delivers in-car entertainment with AM/FM receiver and DVD player that supports CD, CD-R, CD-RW and DVD-video formats. MMCS features a digital music server with instant music access and CD Database (CDDB) automatic CD identification and also supports MP3 and WMA formats.

With a 140W DSP amplifier and 6 speakers, this system really hits the notes. MMCS is also compatible with the Rockford Fosgate? 650W 9-speaker Premium Sound System.

9-inch LCD with DVD for rear passengers:
A rear compartment DVD, CD and video entertainment system that also supports computer games is available with the HDD navigation system.

The 9-inch LCD monitor brings big-screen viewing entertainment to rear seat passengers. The display houses a DVD drive.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Rear seat passengers can watch DVD movies played on the HDD navigation system, while front passengers can also watch whatever is being played on the rear seat monitor.

Video camera and computer games can be connected to the monitor via an external connection terminal.

The system comes with a remote control unit and a set of wireless headphones that allows rear seat passengers to listen to a different sound source than front occupants.


Engines

With Diesel representing 63% of the mid-size SUV segment in Europe, the availability of a Diesel engine was paramount to the potential success of the second generation Outlander. This was facilitated by the ability of MMC’s new platform to accommodate Diesel power from the outset, as opposed to the previous car which was not engineered for such an application.

De facto, the availability of a Diesel engine from start will allow the new Outlander to challenge the heart of the market, covering 63% of the segment, as opposed to 37% for its petrol-only predecessor.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Pump jet

With respect to its planned sales volume (30,000 units in Europe of which, 68% Diesel / average over lifecycle), MMC elected to outsource the supply of a suitable Diesel engine, rather than going for its own design. Hence the long-term agreement signed with Volkswagen AG.

Announced on September 10th, 2003, it covers the supply of this 2.0 liter engine, starting 2005. As a reminder, Grandis was the first Mitsubishi Motors car so equipped.

Available from launch, Outlander DI-D will be powered by the same 1,968 cc, turbo-charged with
intercooler, DOHC, 16 valve, EU-4 compliant engine. Equipped with a pump-jet injection system and mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, this powerplant develops an estimated 103kW / 140 ps**, plus 310Nm of torque, for a top speed of nearly 187 km/h** (all data subject to final homologation).

Mitsubishi Outlander

As a reminder, Volkswagen AG´s pump-jet technology works at the highest operating pressures, compared to other diesel injection systems. As a benefit, higher power and torque values can be obtained, all with lower fuel consumption. Additionally, with such high pressure, a "clean" combustion takes place, with a lower level of emissions. 

In order to meet the emerging European customer requirements for DPF, Mitsubishi Motors is currently developing an appropriate solution for Outlander Di-D (availability according to models and markets), keeping in mind that the pump-jet technology allows this engine to meet EU 4 without particulate filter.

Mitsubishi Outlander


Dual Mass Flywheel

Together with a full sound insulation package matching the demands of a Diesel engine, this engine is also mated to a specific 6 speed manual gearbox, unique to the Di-D version. This Aisin AW-supplied transmission features a newly developed Dual Mass Flywheel, which dampens shift vibration and noise, as well as a self-adjusting clutch for extended clutch life.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Beyond Diesel

In order to satisfy a wide range of European customers, Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Motors will expand its engine line-up for Outlander over the next months (availability according to models and markets), such as:

  •  An all-new Mitsubishi Motors-developed 162kW / 220ps petrol V6 with MIVEC variable valve timing technology (all data subject to final homologation);
  •  A 125kW / 170ps variant of the new petrol 4-cylinder “World Engine”, developed in collaboration between MMC, DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai Motor Company (all data subject to final homologation).

Driving and chassis

As to the Active Stability Control system, it was vital to ensure that it operates consistently and smoothly to stabilize vehicle behavior in a safe and pertinent manner.”
Consistent with market evolution, the development team designed the chassis to give the next generation Outlander a level of sporty performance that redefines conventional SUV standards. Importing technology nurtured and honed in the Lancer Evolution series and fitting Active Stability
Control (ASC) as standard are just two examples of the lengths the team went to.

Mitsubishi Outlander


Sharp

Outlander’s suspension uses the same basic configuration as its predecessor, with MacPherson struts at the front and a trailing arm-type multi-link arrangement at the rear.

  •  At the front, stroke is 15 mm longer and the track 45 mm wider. With the strut-mounted stabilizer bar, these changes have improved handling and stability. The rear exhaust manifold layout has made it possible to eliminate the front cross member rise previously required for the exhaust pipe, leading to 2-fold and 4.3-fold increases respectively in lateral rigidity at the lower arm front and rear mountings. This has brought dramatic improvements in steering response over the previous Outlander.
  •  New features for the rear suspension include the introduction of cross member reinforcements that improve alignment accuracy by stiffening the wheel mounting, and optimization of the roll center height after increasing stroke by 20 mm and widening the track by 35 mm. The control arm configuration has also been revised. The front trailing arm bush mounting has been moved up for smoother suspension behavior over bumps. The hub side toe control arm mounting has been moved down to increase toe and camber stiffness.
Mitsubishi Outlander


Next generation ASC

ASC, which regulates vehicle attitude to prevent skidding as a result of sudden steering inputs or loss of traction on a slippery surface, is standard on all Outlanders.

The system uses data from vehicle sensors and from the ECU to detect any discrepancy between the driver’s intended operation and actual vehicle behavior. When ASC detects imminent oversteer or understeer it regulates braking force and torque drive at each of the wheels as well sending the required integrated control signals to the CVT*** and 4WD through a high-speed CAN* communications bus to guide the vehicle toward safety.

ASC now features as standard a traction control system that functions very similarly to a mechanical limited slip differential to control wheel spin when starting or accelerating.

To date, ASC was automatically disengaged when the driver switched to 4WD LOCK mode. The introduction of integrated system control means the driver can now enjoy the safety-enhancing benefits of ASC in all drive modes. While top development priority was given to assisting the driver in the safe operation of his vehicle, this was not at the sacrifice of driving feel. ASC operates seamlessly and positively, without impacting driving pleasure.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Stopping power

As part of the on-road brief, Outlander is equipped with a powerful braking system allowing for a very competitive 42 m stopping distance (AMS test*):

  •  All models are fitted with 294 mm ventilated disc brakes at the front and 302 mm disc brakes at the rear
  •  The brake booster has a brake assist function that improves anti-lock braking performance under emergency braking
  •  All Outlanders are fitted with an ABS system that works in concert with the 4WD system to realize greater vehicle stability during emergency braking
  •  Lastly, an Electronic Brake force Distribution system (EBD) completes the set, assuring stable and consistent braking by matching rear wheel braking force to vehicle load and surface conditions

Off the beaten tracks…

Without claiming any serious off road pretensions, the beauty of modern SUVs is their ability to venture of the beaten tracks for the odd trail, snowy mountain drive or towing duties. Beyond, the availability of a 4-wheel drive system does contribute to better active safety. More so in the case of the next generation Outlander, where on-road dynamics were high on MMC engineers’ agenda.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Outlander uses a Mitsubishi’s electronically controlled 4WD system that offers the driver a choice of three modes to match traction control to his preferences or driving conditions. The center differential has an electronically controlled coupling that uses feed-forward control to determine the optimum front/rear torque split from sensor data on throttle opening, vehicle speed, road conditions and driver inputs:

  •  In 2WD mode, torque is brought only to the front wheels to realize nimble driving and better fuel economy.
  •  In 4WD AUTO mode, torque transfer is controlled to allow progression and steering on dirt tracks and/or adverse on-road conditions.
  •  Finally, in 4WD LOCK mode, approx. 1.5 times the torque of 4WD AUTO mode is transferred to the rear wheels to improve off-road performance on poor road surfaces and when the vehicle is stuck, thus making powerful 4WD performance on all surfaces and situations possible.

In terms of ergonomics, the transition from mode to mode is easy, the driver needing only to turn the illuminated easy-to-grip dial positioned prominently between the front seats.

Efficiency

For the new Outlander, the electronically controlled 4WD system employs a new generation transfer case. In this case, the front/rear torque splitter is located toward the rear differential, realizing a simpler internal layout than with the center differential of the previous Outlander. More compact, it is also 7.6 kg lighter.

 As part of the new set-up, a smaller differential gear offset and a different set of gear ratios have improved fuel economy.

The rear differential carrier has also been lightened by using aluminum instead of cast iron as on the current version. The hypoid bevel gears use straight flank teeth that are 30% stronger without being any larger and that mesh together more accurately than the more common taper flank teeth.

Euro pack

Whilst the basic concept – next generation SUV with high level of dynamics – was to be the same in all regions, MMC engineers could take advantage of the in-built flexibility of the new platform to integrate right from the start and without compromising Outlander’s fundamentals, the very different market specifics required by customers in Japan, Europe, the US and all other regions where the car was to be sold.

This includes design elements (“Mount Fuji” grill for Europe for instance) or engines (4 cylinder 2.4 l in Japan or 3.0 l V6 in the US), but also chassis tuning.

This included:

  •  Braking : (2-pot front calipers, high performance pads,…)
  •  Suspension: (Euro-spec shock absorbers and spring rating,…)
  •  Steering : A re-calibrated power steering pump provides the enhanced levels of steering feedback desired by European drivers
  •  Tires : Euro-spec Outlanders are fitted exclusively with Bridgestone 225/55R18 or 215/70R16 tires. Both of “summer” type (as opposed to the “all-season” tires selected for the Japanese market), they were one example of the cross-pollenization that occurred during the development of the Outlander-based Peugeot and Citroën SUVs that benefited MMC’s Euro-spec Outlander
  •  Sound insulation : A further sound package was also developed for the Europe specific Diesel versions, including a 0.4 mm thicker windscreen.

Convenience


Looping the loop, Outlander will also offer a vast array of convenience features to simplify life on-board:

  •  Keyless operation system

Outlander uses a keyless remote system that allows the door and tailgate locks to be opened or closed and the engine started or stopped with the remote unit in the driver’s pocket:
1.  Remote entry mode:
The driver can open the front doors or tailgate if he/she has the remote unit on his/her person simply by taking hold of one of the door handles. The system beeps twice and flashes the hazard warning lamps twice to tell him the locks are open.

To activate the locks, all he/she has to do is press the LOCK switch in the door and tailgate handles. The system beeps once and flashes hazard warning lamps once to tell him the locks are engaged.

The remote entry system operates when the driver has the remote unit on his/her person and is within a distance of 70 cm from the front doors or from the tailgate.


2.  Engine start/stop mode:

The driver can start the engine if he/she has the remote unit on his/her person. He/she simply has to press the ignition knob to disengage the lock and then turning it ON, as with a traditional key. Returning the knob to its original position stops the engine. The whole process does without the often seen start/stop button, in order to retain the familiarity of this almost instinctive action.

Switches on the remote unit operate the windows and also the door mirrors in conjunction with the door locks. A switch located above the door handle also operates the windows and mirrors.

The keyless operating system comes with two remote units as standard but up to four can be registered with the system. The unit houses an emergency key with engine immobilizer for use in cases where the remote unit battery has run down or the system malfunctions. Used like a regular key, the emergency key can be used to open or close door locks and to start or stop the engine.

 Instrument cluster & Multi-Information Display

Using a large dot-matrix LCD screen with red graphics, the Multi-Information Display (MID) displays all the information the driver needs:

  •  Trip distance and odometers
  •  Service reminder that shows the number of months or distance to the next service
  •  Water temperature
  •  Range on remaining fuel
  •  Fuel consumption
  •  Average vehicle speed
  •  4WD mode
  •  Outside temperature
  •  Seatbelt reminder

He/she can change the display using the information mode switch located to the right of the instrument cluster.

 Fully automatic climate control with air filter
All models are fitted as standard with fully automatic climate control that uses a filter to remove pollen, dust and other impurities and keep the interior clean.

Separate heater vents in the rear compartment allow rear seat occupants to control air from the heater in the winter.

 Thermo-control glove compartment

Large enough to take two 500 ml bottles, four 350 ml or six 190 ml drink cans, the glove compartment is designed to use air from the air conditioner to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Cool/warm air from the air conditioner can be shut off as required.

 Solar control glass
Solar control glass uses an infra-red absorbing material in its intermediate layer to reduce transmission of solar heat by between 66 and 100% (depending on glasshouse location).

The glass also cuts out transmission of ultra-violet light but transmits all visible light to keep the interior airy and light.

 One-step fold-and-tumble second row seats

As explained in a previous chapter, the second row seats fold down and tumble forward in a simple one-step operation to increase luggage capacity when carrying large items or extra amounts of luggage.

Operating a switch on the luggage compartment side panel causes the backrest to fold down and the seats to slide and then tumble forward. For safety reasons, this feature does not operate unless a rear door or the tailgate is open. The seats can also be tumbled forward manually using the recline lever at the side of the seat.

7-seat models have automatic on/off foot lamps fitted under the second row squab cushions to facilitate access to and from third row seats at night or in a poorly lit garage.

Red marking on the floor urges occupants to be careful not to get their foot trapped when returning tumbled second row seats to their normal position. The speed at which the seats return to the normal position has also been tuned for optimum safety.

 Child seat anchors
The outer second row seats have ISOFIX anchors and all second row seats have tether anchors for child seats. Attached to the seat rather than the body, the tether anchors enable the seats to be slid
forwards or backwards with a child seat in place.

 Utility bars
Aluminum utility bars fitted to the quarter trim panels on both sides of the luggage compartment provide convenient attachment points for a variety of accessories. Each bar takes a 10 kg load.

 Multi-storage space

The cabin is provided with a number of storage spaces that enhance convenience in everyday use:

  •  A cooled (because of its location in front of the air vent) drink holder for the driver extends from the dashboard at the touch of a finger and takes a 500 ml bottle
  •  Two cup holders are provided in the floor console
  •  There are a total of four 500 ml bottle holders in the doors
  •  The floor console with armrest slides through 65 mm
  •  Lifting the armrest reveals a tray for mobile phone and other small items
  •  Under the tray is a larger compartment that takes 10 CD’s or 6 tall case DVD’s and is fitted with a 12V accessory socket
  •  An opening in the tray and armrest allows a power cable to be taken from the socket with the armrest down
  •  The underside of the armrest is fitted with a pocket tissue holder
  •  The upper dash box is 40 mm deep and has a lid
  •  The recessed tray under the center console is large enough to take up to 13 CD’s. While its no-lid design allows the driver or front passenger to slip small items in easily, a ledge at the front edge and bars on both sides of the opening prevent items from falling out. The bars are design elements
  •  The lower section of the center dash uses a red down light that enhances the interior ambience at night and makes it easier to find
  •  Luggage compartment storage convenience

The spacious luggage room sports several convenience enhancing features:

  •  Small item compartments above the wheelhouses.
  •  A “secret box” in the right side wall that takes a 1-DIN size first aid kit, a 12V accessory power socket and four retaining hooks.
  •  Three fastening points are provided for the tonneau cover:
  •  for use when the second row seats are in the normal position
  •  when the seats are reclined
  •  for securing the cover to the luggage compartment floor when not in use.
  •  5-seat models have a luggage floor underbox fitted where the occasional-use third row seats stow under the floor in 5+2-seat models.

Safety

The first to use Mitsubishi Motors’ new global platform, Outlander’s design team developed it with the all-around functionality and multi-purpose utility of a modern SUV in mind, with a high priority given to:

  •  passive safety
  •  active safety
  •  packaging


Much effort was dedicated to the structure itself, following very logical principles:

  •  High body rigidity enables the suspension to react accurately to road inputs, thereby allowing the driver to follow his chosen line
  •  At the same time, the body must provide practical crushable zones and a solid survival space to protect occupants during impact from all directions
  •  The body must also be designed with crash compatibility in mind to minimize damage to other vehicles lighter than itself in a crash
  •  However, if incorporating such measures adds to the weight of the car, it will adversely impact driving performance and fuel economy 
  •  It is vital therefore that the body be designed to be as light as possible while still fulfilling these basic requirements


To this effect, the body incorporates a number of new core features that bring significant improvements in safety, comfort and durability.

Mitsubishi Outlander


All-directional impact safety

Outlander’s body incorporates a number of new items against impacts from all directions:

  •  Exhaustive shape optimization of the octagonal-section straight front side members has improved energy absorption
  •  A “triple-leg” bearing structure that links the rear end of the front side member with the dash cross center and lower members efficiently disperses frontal impact energy
  •  In-house testing of Outlander’s crash compatibility shows that this structure provides effective occupant protection while reducing damage to other vehicles
  •  The front section of the side members has a crush box structure that absorbs impact energy to prevent its transmission to the full length of the member in low-speed impacts. This minimizes damage to the body as a whole and reduces repair costs
  •  The reinforcing girdle body construction, in which side member reinforcements are welded together, is highly effective in absorbing crash energy in frontal, rear and side impacts
  •  Outlander’s body uses more high-tensile steel to reduce weight and increase stiffness, with 590 MPa high-tensile steel used in 15% and 980 MPa high-tensile steel in 8% of the structure

5-Star


With a 5-Star Euro-NCAP target, MMC engineers incorporated further passive safety measures into the next generation Outlander:

  •  Driver and front passenger are provided with dual-stage SRS airbags that tailor the force at which they deploy to the magnitude of the impact force and thereby reduce the risk of airbag- related injury
  •  Side and curtain airbags are also available***
  •  The seats are designed to reduce whiplash in the event of a rear shunt
  •  Seats for all seven occupants (5+2 versions, i.e.: occasional-use third row seats
  • Included), are fitted with 3-point seat-belts as standard
  •  Pretensioners are fitted to the driver’s shoulder and lap belts and to the front
  • passenger’s shoulder belt
  •  On models not fitted with curtain airbags, the pillars and the inner roof panel use an impact energy-absorbing rib construction that reduces head injuries in a crash



 Other passive safety enhancements include for instance:

  •  a cross frame under the front seat squab to restrict forward movement of the occupant in a frontal impact
  •  an energy-absorbing floor pad and footrest


In-house testing following Euro-NCAP standards suggests that these passive safety features will earn Outlander the equivalent of a maximum 5-star rating for passengers and 3-star for child protection.

Mitsubishi Outlander


Pedestrian protection

To minimize injury to pedestrians, MMC engineers have opted for crushable structures for Outlander’s front deck and fenders, incorporating a generous space separating panel from the internal structure.

The engine hood also uses an energy-absorbing cushioning structure that maintains a gap between it, the engine, and ancillary equipment, while frame optimization provides the required strength and stiffness.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Lastly, the bumpers use energy-absorbing polyurethane foam to alleviate pedestrian leg injury, all these measures leading to a Euro-NCAP 2-star target rating.


Stiffer body = better handling

A high-rigidity body is vital if handling, stability and occupant comfort are to be improved.

Outlander’s body incorporates octagonal-section straight front side members and a “girdle-reinforcement” occupant survival cage that improves safety as well as increasing overall stiffness. The addition of strut tower bars and side and lower arm braces has also brought a significant improvement to handling precision.

These and other measures realize increases of 18% and 39% in body torsional and bending stiffness respectively over the first generation Outlander.

Mitsubishi Outlander

1 comments:

Simona,
Awesome review. Thnanks for the great detail.
Dave

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