At the end of June 2021, Mitsubishi Motors held a shareholders meeting to talk about the future of the company and upcoming models. Even with the power of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, 2020 hit everyone in the industry hard, and it may have forced Mitsubishi to leave some concepts on the cutting room floor. We’re talking about the Engelberg Tourer and Mi-Tech concepts, originally set to replace the aging Outlander PHEV. Instead, making it clear that the future of the automaker lies within plug-in hybrids and electric vehicle (EV) technology, Mitsubishi chose a new flagship model – the upcoming Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV. Before it arrives, the newly redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is pulling Mitsubishi Motors out of the wreckage.
Redesigned for 2022, the Mitsubishi Outlander comes with a new platform, new design, and new tech to change the way consumers look at this SUV. When the semiconductor chip shortage started to affect the auto industry, many automakers had to choose between temporarily retiring more advanced features and production. Instead of using up resources for a limited production, new consumer incentives and advertising for Mitsubishi Motors increased instead with the money that would usually go towards production. This boosted the profitability of the automaker when the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander came out in April, selling 6,954 units in the second quarter of 2021, double that of 2020.Read the rest of this entry »
Mitsubishi Motors has been trying to find itself as of late. If any automaker ever went soul-searching this year, it’s definitely the automaker from the land of the red sun. Over the past few years, Mitsubishi joined Renault and Nissan to form the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has released two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) concepts in 2019 that never went anywhere, and the latest news is talks about two models being produced by Renault, for Mitsubishi Motors, to help the automaker secure certain regions of the European market. In the midst of it all, an Eclipse Cross PHEV is on the horizon – but before we get to that, the newly redesigned 2022 Eclipse Cross is making noise in the department of safety.
“We work every day to design, engineer and build safe and reliable vehicles, as proven by this 5-Star safety rating recognition by NHTSA for the 2022 Eclipse Cross…The 2022 Eclipse Cross offers consumers fresh styling, updated technology and connectivity and stirring performance, as well as top-level quality and safety scores.” – Cason Grover, director, product planning, MMNARead the rest of this entry »
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross surprised everyone didn’t it? Once known as a sports car, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, there were some racing fans that didn’t like the fact that one of their favorites was coming back as a crossover. It was, at least in the first year, a huge disappointment. That tune quickly changed the following year as reviews about the Eclipse Cross and what it can offer consumers started to appear on the internet. Selling nearly 20,000 units in 2019, it was a better year for the crossover, and as it returns for the new model year, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has found itself, produced with changes in appearance and features. The automaker is so confident, a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross plug-in hybrid is currently in the works.
So, here’s the thing – Mitsubishi Motors finally broke its silence in late June 2021 about the rumors surrounding a revival of the Lancer Evolution series, a rally car the automaker became popular for. The signs were there for a return with Mitsubishi reopening Ralliart, the team responsible for the Lancer Evolution, and releasing concept art for the never-before-seen rally car, the Mitsubishi Starion 4WD. And yet, during a shareholders’ meeting, but the automaker confirmed that Mitsubishi Motors is focused on electric vehicle development.Read the rest of this entry »
When Mitsubishi Motors brought the Eclipse back from the grave, it did so in a way not many fans of the once sports car were expecting – a crossover. Not an SUV, not a hatchback, and definitely not a sports car, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross came with some backlash, but that didn’t stop the new model from paving a way for the first of new and upcoming models from the automaker. Over the last several years, especially after joining Renault and Nissan into the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Mitsubishi Motors is trying to find itself. After disappearing for the 2021 model year, the Eclipse Cross returns for 2022 with a new sense of self and the looks to prove it.
What’s New for 2022?
Mitsubishi Motors has been integrating a new Dynamic Shield into the models of its lineup, a new face that will set a pattern for all models. The Mitsubishi Outlander and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport first wore the new Dynamic Shield with slimmer headlights and a new grille with a honeycomb pattern. A combination of lights are at each corner to join the illumination at the front of the vehicle. The new design also adds a little extra interior space.Read the rest of this entry »
In May 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared its news strategy of its Alliance 2022 business plan. The new strategy had a “Follow the Leader” pattern, with Mitsubishi Motors set to be the first automaker of the three to release a new vehicle. There is just one small problem – the complete lack of news from Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) and the automaker about any upcoming models. Ever since, there has been a lot of talk on the internet about this new Mitsubishi vehicle being a sports car, and possibly the revival of the Lancer Evolution after the release of the never-before-seen Mitsubishi Starion 4WD concept art. Alas, Mitsubishi Motors finally broke its silence, and no Lancer is in sight. The future is still electric vehicles (EVs).
At the end of June 2021, Mitsubishi Motors held a shareholders meeting, and many in attendance were asking about the Lancer Evo or a new sports car, especially after Mitsubishi decided to bring back its high-performance Ralliart team. This is the same team that took the original Mitsubishi Lancer and turned it into a powerful rally car, the Lancer Evolution, that went on for several generations before meeting its eventual end. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? However, unlike the Dodge//SRT team, Ralliart will be taking more of a backseat like MOPAR and serve as an after-market supplier of accessories consumers can use to enhance the performance of various future models.
Hopes – dashed.
“Electrification costs a lot of development, and we still don’t have enough strength as a company. We put out a big deficit in the previous fiscal year, so we want to revive the company first and then put out a little car that fans are waiting for.” – translated via Google Translate from Japanese publication Response by way of Japanese Nostalgic Car
Salt in the wound, isn’t it? Not that we’re trying to rub it in. Stings for us, too.
But we knew this going in. When discussing the future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance after the digital press release in May, we knew plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles were coming to the forefront. Nissan and Renault have been developing new EV platforms and powertrains called ePTs, Nissan released a new EV platform for use across all three brands, and Mitsubishi has had its share of concepts over the years. Aside from the requests for the Lancer Evolution, the other question Mitsubishi Motors gets a lot is what plans are for the Outlander PHEV.
The Outlander PHEV might get a replacement within the next few years. Quickly putting on the years, the plug-in hybrid SUV has had its success and time in the spotlight, but with the new technology being introduced in today’s modern cars, the Outlander PHEV is falling behind. A plug-in hybrid SUV was once a rarity but is quickly meeting competition. There have been some contenders – in 2019, during the Geneva International Motor Show and Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi revealed the Engelberg Tourer concept and the Mi-Tech concept, respectively. The Engelberg Tourer was more so a sporty version of the Outlander PHEV, whereas the Mi-Tech was a new take on plug-in hybrid technology, but there hasn’t been any news about either since.What is Mitsubishi Motors up to? If the Lancer EVO isn’t making a comeback, then what EV could Mitsubishi possibly be working on? Stay up to date with all Mitsubishi Motors-related news when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Motors
It would seem that rally and race car fans have absolutely gone haywire in their efforts to show Mitsubishi Motors just how much their discontinued retail rally cars are missed and how much we want them back. It all started when the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced the Japanese automaker as the first of the three to launch a new vehicle, somewhere in the C- or D-car segment. This got people asking about the once beloved Lancer Evolution, but what really lit the match was the recent auctioning of the last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition in Europe and the release of never-before-seen concept art of the Mitsubishi Starion 4WD. This was a vehicle made by the one and only Ralliart, the high-performance team of Mitsubishi Motors recently taken out of retirement. People have been modifying the Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution for more power in drag races, and a modified Lancer EVO IX in Europe is currently turning heads with its 706 horsepower.
Anything past 700 horsepower is a pretty crazy number for a standard vehicle, but the Lancer EVO IX is no passenger car, although it comes with four doors. This is a sports car, and it means business. We’ve talked about the Lancer EVO before, its high-performance and response that gives drivers a lot of control over a lot of power. Even at the sharpest of turns, the Lancer EVO could handle it no problem. Our last discussion was focused on the Lancer EVO VIII (eight-generation), with a video of TopGear with the Mitsubishi EVO racing a Lamborghini.
Over the last few years, Mitsubishi Motors has fiddled with a few new concepts, but nothing has some of them yet. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, as successful as it is, is starting to show its age, and Mitsubishi wants to find its replacement. At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, there was the Engelberg Tourer, followed by the Mi-TECH at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Neither of these concepts ever resurfaced again during the calamity of 2020, and now in 2021, Mitsubishi has released another concept, but the automaker has also revealed a finished model for production, the AIRTEK.
Possible Replacements for the Outlander PHEV
The first contended and the one that made the most sense was the Engelberg Tourer. Much like the Outlander PHEV, the Engelberg Tourer was sporty but luxurious. Designed for consumers that like to go off-road year-round, this new concept was outfitted with Mitsubishi Motors Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system with an Active Yaw Control (AYC) for better torque control in various driving conditions. Also like the Outlander PHEV, the Engelberg Tourer had a plug-in hybrid powertrain with two electric motors (one in the front and one in the rear). Simply a more advanced version of the plug-in hybrid SUV, we expected this to be released in 2020, but clearly not.
At one time, Mitsubishi Motors was known for its rally cars. The first vehicle by the Japanese automaker entered into an international motorsports event set a track record – it was the Mitsubishi 500 Super Deluxe. The automaker would go on to soon be known as a legend, when a favorite model of consumers everywhere, won the World Rally Championship (WRC) for four years running. It was the Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition, and the last of which was recently auctioned off in Europe. Now, never before seen pictures of the last sports car coupe to come from Mitsubishi Motors are seeing light – the Starion 4WD.
As mentioned, the Starion 4WD never saw the light of day. Part of a collective called “Group B rally”, rally cars in this group were some of the fastest, most powerful, and most sophisticated rally cars manufactured. Some would go so far as to call it the golden era of rallying. However, due to some fatal events, including the death of late Champion Henri Toivonen and co-pilot Sergio Cresto during the Tour de Corse rally in 1986, Group B cars were banned from racing.
There has been a lot of guessing at what Mitsubishi Motors is up to next. After the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance held a virtual press conference in May 2020 to share business strategies for the Alliance going forward, one of the highlights is that the first new model to come from the automotive group will be coming from none other than Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. A mini electric vehicle designed by Nissan and Mitsubishi was previously launched in Japan, Mitsubishi previewed the AIRTEK at the Shanghai Auto Show, and eventually, Mitsubishi will adopt and rebadge a Renault vehicle to gain a foothold in the European market, already leaving the UK after auctioning off the last Lancer EVO VI Tommi Makinen Edition. Hold that thought, because none of the above is the C-D segment vehicle Mitsubishi has promised us –could it be the new Mitsubishi Lancer?
C-segment vehicles are the 3rd category used for passenger cars, typically described as “medium cars”, but can range between “small family car” and even “compact car” in the states. D-segment vehicles are the 4th category, and although known as “large family cars”, present day D-segment vehicles are known as mid-size and muscle cars. You can feel it, can’t you? Mitsubishi Motors might be breaking away from SUVs – finally – and bringing back what we all want.
When the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was first revealed, there was a lot of backlash. Totally understandable, really. Mitsubishi Motors has pulled many of its sports cars out of the U.S., the Mitsubishi Eclipse amongst them, along with the Lancer and Lancer Evolution series. Some of the latter are still legends today. Teasing the revival of a rally car, only to reveal a crossover, was like salt on the wound, and the circulating artwork of a Lancer crossover isn’t helping. Talk of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) reviving Ralliart was reported recently by Forbes, and it feels like a rollercoaster all over again.
We can’t help but wonder if this comes from the recent auction for the last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition, sold in Europe for £100,100, or $121,000 USD. Mitsubishi Motors standing in Europe is currently confusing. The automaker is making its departure from the UK market, while simultaneously starting 2023 with two models produced by Groupe Renault but rebranded and restyled for Mitsubishi Motors. Only being released in selected markets in Europe, perhaps the automaker is looking for a cornerstone. After all, the press release from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was only two months ago (March 2021).