Mitsubishi to Showcase New Outlander PHEV in Geneva with Better Tech, Revised Looks
The revised 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is set to make its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and It’s about time. The SUV has been Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle since 2015, an achievement it earned after selling more than 100,000 units in the continent in the last three years. Globally, over 140,000 units of the Outlander PHEV have been sold since the model arrived back in 2013.
Mitsubishi Has all But Comfirmed that it Will Slander the EVO Name by Plastering it on an SUV
You might want to sit down for this, especially if you’re a card-carrying member of the Mitsubishi Evolution fan club. A high-ranking Mitsubishi executive really spoke out on the possibility of bringing the iconic nameplate back in the future. He didn’t exactly specify how the Japanese automaker plans to do it, but if it did, there’s a possibility that it wouldn’t return in the state that earned it a place in the annals of automotive history as one of the most iconic rally-bred, performance cars in the world. Instead — this is the part where you really have to sit down — the Evo name could return and be used on an SUV. Gulp.
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Less than four months after the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV arrived on U.S. shores in December 2017, Mitsubishi is launching an updated version at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland this March. The updates focus on increased efficiency from this plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, but visual updates and interior improvements are also made.
Mitsubishi will announce the full details on March 6, but we already have a good understanding of the changes coming for 2019. The U.S. is expected to get this new model, too, though it might not happen until 2020.
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Mitsubishi is Finally Doing Something Right and is Growing Fast
It’s been a while since we last talked about Mitsubishi in glowing terms, but the facts can’t be denied. The popularity of the once-beleaguered Japanese automaker is trending up in the US on the shoulders of a crossover and SUV lineup that’s hitting record sales growth.
Spearheading this growth are the Outlander and Outlander Sport, two models that posted impressive sales growths in 2017. Sales of the Outlander reached 35,310 units in the year-that-was, resulting in a sales growth of 32.9 percent from the previous year. Likewise, the Outlander Sport also saw a huge bump in sales, ending the year with 33,160 units sold. That figure was aided by a massive sales period in December, in which sales volume for the SUV increased by 47.1 percent compared to its figures in the last month of 2016. The success of both models spurred Mitsubishi’s crossover and SUV sales to shoot up by 15 percent compared to 2016. That’s impressive on its own, and even more so considering that it outpaced the popular segment by a wide margin.
Moving forward, Mitsubishi is set to release two new models to complement the two Outlander models. One of these models is the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), which takes elements from the Outlander and combines it with hybrid and electric capabilities. That model’s already out on the market. The other model is the all-new Eclipse Cross, a compact SUV that will be positioned between the Outlander Sport and the Outlander once it makes its debut in March. These two new models make up a part of Mitsubishi’s ambitious expansion plan that will have 11 new models, including six all-new models, hit dealerships in the course of the next three years.
In addition to the model expansion, the Japanese automaker will also expand its dealership network in the US, invest heavily in research and development, and leverage its recent inclusion in the Renault-Nissan Alliance to become a player in the growing segment of future mobility. In other words, don’t write Mitsubishi’s obituary just yet. The Japanese automaker appears to still be alive and kicking.
Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi All Want a Piece of the Robo-Taxi Business
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has big plans for its future, and among those plans include hopping aboard the fledgling robo-taxi business. The auto conglomerate has announced plans to pursue shared driverless vehicles, and it’s already in the market for potential tech partners that can come in and help in its development. The alliance has yet to unveil its future partners in the field, but an announcement is expected to come in the near future, signaling the start of a push to become a bigger player in the world of autonomous driving.
2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept
The Tokyo Motor Show is nearly upon us, which means we’re preparing for a barrage of wild concepts and cool sci-fi weirdness. Mitsubishi is already getting on the action, unveiling its new e-Evolution a few weeks ahead of the big sheet pull. The design study is framed as a preview of forthcoming technology and exterior styling from the automaker, and includes a focus on all-electric propulsion mated with an AWD SUV body style. The e-Evolution also gets a few interesting driver assistance technologies, like an onboard AI that customizes various onboard systems to your preferences and will even coach you on how to be a better driver. The e-Evolution is just one of 12 vehicles Mitsubishi is bringing to the show, so we’ll have to see what else will make an appearance, but so far, the e-Evolution is one of the more ambitious concepts we’ve seen from Mitsu in a while.
Of course, we have to address the elephant in the room – the repurposed Evolution nameplate. Just last year, Mitsu killed off the Lancer Evo, the iconic rally-bred sedan that churned major terra in the WRC. Purists will undoubtedly balk at the thought of an all-electric, AI-infused SUV carrying the torch lit by that four-door monster, and rightfully so, but either way, it looks like change is inevitable here. Read on for the full details.
Updated 10/25/2017: The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept just debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show! Check out all the pics and details below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept.
Make it or Break It: Mitsubishi Positions Itself for a Comeback
“Drive for Growth.” It’s Mitsubishi latest plan to effectively turn the company around following its fuel economy scandal of yesteryear. The basic concept is to increase sales by 30 percent while at the same time increasing profit margin by six percent and research and development spending by ¥600 billion. This would, according to Mitsubishi push annual sales up to 1.3 mill units and revenue as high as ¥2.5 trillion. And, it plans to do so by strategic market expansion and by improving overall operating efficiency. For starters, Mitsubishi will work on improving U.S. dealerships while increasing the number of dealers in China by 110,000 to 220,000 total.
The big news here is that Mitsubishi is announcing that it will launch 11 new models over the next three years, with six of them being completely new models. The remaining five will be major updates to current vehicles on the market. By the end of 2020, Mitsubishi expects 70 of its sales volume to come from its SUVs, 4WD vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. There’s also word that there will be electrified solutions across the “core model range” which includes an EV kei car in the year 2020. So, in other words, Mitsubishi is going to spend a ton of money on R&D, even more money building and optimizing dealerships, and somehow manage to grow its bottom line. It sounds really good on paper, but will it actually work? Well, I have a few thoughts on that, so keep reading to find out.
Craigslister Reposts Mitsubishi 3000GT For Sale, Doubles Price to $1 Million
One month ago, our friends over at Jalopnik spotted one of the more insane craigslist ads we’ve seen in quite some time – a ’98 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 with an asking price of a half-million bucks. American. Obviously, a figure like that leads us to ask a few questions. Did the car carry the world’s first fully self-aware AI? Did it run on starlight and unicorn dreams? Did past owners include Elvis, JFK, and Jesus? Unfortunately, the answer to each of these questions is a firm “no,” so what’s the justification here? Well, the car in question is undeniably clean and a top-notch example of one of Mitsubishi’s best ‘90s era sports cars, but you’ll have to forgive our incredulity at ponying up Lamborghini Aventador money for a 20-year-old Japanese import, no matter how well maintained it might be. Welp, it looks like the seller agrees, but not in the way you might expect, as the same Mitsubishi just reappeared on craigslist, this time tagged with an asking price of a cool million dollars. El. Oh. El.
Of course, the seller is eager to list some of the finer points of such a “legendary” vehicle, speculating that it could be “1 of 231” examples, and that it was “Featured in Glacier White Pearl in-car on a PS2 Screen Shot while waiting for the first Street Race of the first Fast and the Furious movie.” How prestigious.
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The Lancer Evo Could Come Back... As a Freaking SUV...
So, here I am reading through automotive headlines for the day, ready to see what this week will bring, and what do I see? “A New Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Could Happen…” After making the most lady-like squeal to come out of a man’s mouth, I clicked on the link with more enthusiasm than Donald Trump has for complaining on Twitter. But, I was let down, because we’re not talking about the rally-bred, dirt-chewing Lancer EVO. No; Mitsubishi is probably going to ruin yet another name and make the next EVO a freaking SUV.
Well, that’s the word anyway, after Motoring had a little conversation with Mitsubishi Global Boss, Trevor Mann. Apparently, he has said that a new performance flagship is one of many considerations on the table, but that the performance concept won’t necessarily be based on a sedan… sigh. Given the nature of the automotive market and the fact that every automaker is too dumb to realize that SUVs will eventually fall off the radar once again, you know that means another SUV. We could have already seen a hint as to what the next “EVO” model will be thanks to the 2015 eX Concept.
Mitsubishi Launches One Last Special Edition as the Lancer Heads to the Guillotine
Unfortunately, Mitsubishi quit caring about anything sporty long ago, with the Lancer going a decade without being updated and eventually cancelled. And, let’s not even mention the death of the EVO program a few years back, both of which practically handed business over to Subaru and left the Subaru WRX without a true competitor. Sure, the Lancer will get an extensive facelift and carry on in the Asian market, but it’s discontinued everywhere else with 2017 being the final sales year for what was once an iconic vehicle. Had Mitsubishi cared about the Lancer and gave it a proper update, maybe sales wouldn’t have sucked so bad. Now, just months before it’s discontinued forever here in the U.S., Mitsubishi is dropping one last limited edition in hopes of getting some money from the fanboys that remember what this car was once capable of.
This new “limited edition” model, will slot above the base ES model and includes the usual black accents that every automaker seems to do these days. In other words, you’ll get a gloss black finish on the 16-inch wheels, the roof, the upper grill garnish, fender garnish, and the door mirrors. There is a cool limited edition badge and a sunroof, so there’s that. Inside, it receives black fabric upholstery and red contrast stitching on the steering wheel, brake lever, central armrest, door trim panels, and shift knob. There’s also aluminum pedals and gloss black finishing on some interior trim pieces. A black headliner and a 6.5-inch infotainment display round out the whole interior package. Pricing for the limited edition starts out at $19,795 and will be available through the end of this model year.
Mitsubishi Evo X Does Quarter Mile In 8.48 Seconds, Sets Record, Melts Face: Video
Enthusiasts the world over shed a tear when Mitsu killed off the rally-bred Lancer Evolution last year. After 10 generations and nearly a quarter century of bringing high-tech speed to the masses, you could say we were growing rather fond of the Japanese imports. Thankfully, even with production now ended, Evo owners are still pushing the limits of what’s possible with the platform. The latest evidence of this comes from Texas and the TX2K17 drag racing event, where one Evo X managed to set a new world record by doing the quarter mile in an astonishing 8.48 seconds at 164 mph.
Documentation of the new record comes courtesy of 1320 Video, which put together this superb three-and-a-half minute bit of evidence, complete with tons of runs, lots of hard launches, and plenty of pleasing noises. The video starts with rollouts, which offer good prep for the later, more serious runs. The video then follows the Evo’s progress towards quicker and quicker ETs, ending with the record-setting 8.48. Watching this thing scoot down the strip is pretty awesome, especially when you consider the pilot is working a five-speed manual, rather than a sequential shifter. We can’t wait to see where it goes next.
2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Some could view the Mitsubishi brand as a problem child, being stuck in a kerfuffle as it tries to shift its lineup to meet the overwhelming demand for crossovers and SUVs. It was initially planning to hit the 100,000 sales mark here in the U.S. for 2016, but the financial year – which ends in March of 2017 – will be the first time in eight years that the brand has posted a loss. That suspected loss, which could amount to as much as ¥205 billion (about $2 million) can be attributed to the brand getting caught in its own scandal. But, that’s not the only reason.
Over the years, it has let down fans that prefer sporty cars over SUVs, with the Eclipse being killed off after 2012 and the Lancer soldiering on virtually unchanged and underpowered for a decade, just to be killed off before the start of 2018. With its focus consistently on SUV’s, it should come as no surprise that the brand has just announced a new compact SUV that will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport. Called the Eclipse Cross, the new SUV is actually a step forward for Mitsubishi and brings about a decent amount of technology, a new drivetrain option, and unique styling inside and out.
The Eclipse Cross is to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and while the name isn’t original – and maybe seen as stupid by those who remember the Eclipse coupe – the SUV itself is fresh and, at a glance, looks to be more advanced than anything else that Mitsubishi has on offer at the moment. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s dive on in a take a good look at Mitsubishi’s latest SUV.
Updated 02/28/2017: Mitsubishi dropped the official details on the new Eclipse Cross with just a week before its official debut in Geneva.