Our spies at Mitsubishi tell us changes are coming. Interested?
Cars usually evolve in the greater international markets before reaching our shores. But at Group 1 we know our readers follow these changes keenly, so here are the latest titbits about big changes coming to Mitsubishi’s SUV range.
Sources at the firm indicated that Mitsubishi’s current SUV range is considered too similar in size to each other, but over the next 18 months, that will change. There will be an approximately 200mm gap between these cars, with the Mitsubishi Outlander growing bigger, the Mitsubishi Eclipse in the middle and the Mitsubishi ASX shrinking a bit.
These changes will reflect the benefits of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance which Mitsubishi joined in 2016. The Alliance offers the Common Module Family (CMF) development and manufacturing cost advantages. There are five sets of interchangeable modules across three platform sizes: engine bay, cockpit, front and rear underbody and electric/electronics. A module can be used for different platforms, covering different classes of vehicles, thereby allowing greater standardisation of components.
As such, the Outlander, Eclipse Cross and ASX will compare to the Nissan X-Trail, Qashqai and Juke range. “You will see a strategy to separate them out,” our source told us. “We have a strong reputation in the (SUV) market – as well as for plug-in hybrids and even electrification – and we can build on that.”
These new generation SUVs will still be available in petrol and diesel, as well as electric options. The new Outlander will still have the familiar plug-in hybrid option; the Eclipse Cross would be available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid; while the next ASX will offer a full battery-electric alternative.
The just-premiered Engelberg Tourer gives some indication of the future evolution of the Outlander plug-in hybrid, according to our source. The Engelberg has a large capacity battery under the floor in the middle of the vehicle, with high output motors front and rear. This optimises the cabin space to allow for three rows of seats.
The Engelberg Tourer has a 2.4L petrol engine designed for the PHEV system. In series hybrid mode, it acts as a high-output generator and achieves a high regeneration rate, while the larger displacement makes for quieter operation and better fuel mileage. With fully charged battery and a full tank, this car is good for 700km. This is partly due to the Connected Car System. When setting off, the driver enters the destination and the system reads the weather, temperature, topography, traffic, and surface conditions. It then calculates the optimal use of the hybrid system for maximum range and comfort.