Will fresh looks help launch Mitsubishi out its slump?

Mitsubishi has been struggling as of late, first killing off the beloved Evo, then replacing it with a line of less-than exciting models that left us with a very profound sense of “meh.” However, recent reports indicate a substantial increase in sales over the first half of 2018, and now the company is taking on a new executive design director. Does this herald the dawn of a new day at the beleaguered automaker?

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross High Resolution Exterior
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Dambrosio’s resumé includes design work at both Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen.

Just last week, Mitsubishi declared via press release that it was taking on a new hire, announcing that Alessandro Dambrosio would join MMC as Executive Design Director of Advanced Design, effective this October.

“Alessandro is a very experienced and skilled designer with a long career at leading car companies,” said Corporate Vice President of Design Division, Tsunehiro Kunimoto, a.k.a. Alessandro’s new boss. “I look forward to him inspiring our teams to shape the next generation of Mitsubishi Design and contributing to rebuild and enhance the Mitsubishi Motors Brand as we aiming [sic] for global growth.”

Dambrosio’s resumé includes design work at both Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen. His new role will include a leadership position at Mitsubishi’s design studios in Germany and Japan. His first task will include the creation of a variety of new concept models.

Will Mitsubishi Be Saved?

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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You know those sappy romantic comedies where the shy, plain-looking girl gets a makeover and suddenly becomes super hot and all the guys want her?

You know those sappy romantic comedies where the shy, plain-looking girl gets a makeover and suddenly becomes super hot and all the guys want her? Maybe that’s what Mitsu is imagining will happen with Dambrosio onboard.

The big question is - where will Mitsubishi design go from here? Will the cars be more interesting, or worse? Most importantly, will a fresh aesthetic help to pull Mitsubishi out of its slump?

To answer that, let’s first check out Dambrosio’s past work.

According to a recent report from The Truth About Cars, Dambrosio had a hand in the creation of concepts like the Alfa Kamal, Lancia Granturismo, and Maserati MC, as well as production cars like the Maserati Grancabrio, Alfa Romeo 159, Alfa Romeo Mito, and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Afterwards, at VW, he helped to create the Audi A4, Audi A5, VW Passat, VW Polo, Bentley Bentayga, and the Audi TT Sportback concept.

Looking through these models, we’re pretty impressed. Each is thoughtfully executed, with a clean appearance and handsome proportions. And looking at Mitsu’s current crop of designs, that sounds like the perfect recipe to liven it up a bit.

I mean, look at the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross:

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross High Resolution Exterior
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The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - it feels more like a mishmash of ideas, rather than something cohesive.

Putting aside our frustration over the transformation of a classic tuner car into a crossover, we think the aesthetic is just all over the place. The hard lines, the geometric shapes, and that unsightly frontend - it feels more like a mishmash of ideas, rather than something cohesive. It’s trying to be unique without bringing anything new to the table. It’s trying to be classy without any actual refinement. It’s trying to be bold without anything truly striking.

Here’s another one - the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage G4:

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 High Resolution Exterior
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My apologies to whoever penned this thing, but it looks like a clown car, doesn’t it? Just because it’s an affordable compact doesn’t mean it has to be so damn lame, does it?

Which is why I think Dambrosio is a good pick for the job. Just check out what he did with the Alfa 159:

2011 Alfa Romeo 159 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Or hell, even the Alfa Romeo Mito could provide some much-needed guidance:

2009 Alfa Romeo MiTo
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Then of course, let’s not forget the Alfa Kamal, the concept that eventually turned into the gorgeous Stelvio:

2003 Alpha-Romeo Kamal
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alfa romeo kamal

The world could use more of that, and a whole lot less of the Eclipse Cross, don’t ya think?

Indeed, if Mitsu is gonna survive, it’s gonna need to sell loads of compacts and SUVs. Luckily, it’s looking like it’ll have the design chops to get the job done in that respect.

And who knows? If the brand manages to bounce back hard enough, maybe it’ll tell Dambrosio to design what we all really want - something sporty.

If that turns out to be the case, might we suggest pulling cues from the Maserati MC?

Further Reading

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full reivew of the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Mitsubishi Mirage G4

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Alfa Romeo Mito

2009 Alfa Romeo MiTo
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Read our full review of the Alfa Romero Mito

Alfa Romeo Kamal

2003 Alpha-Romeo Kamal
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Read our full review of the Alfa Romeo Kamal

Source: TTAC

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