Okay, seriously, what is Mitsubishi Motors up to? A lot has happened to the automaker since it joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and even more so since the now Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance discussed mid-term plans for its five-year business strategy. What was supposed to be a “follow the leader” strategy where Mitsubishi Motors was supposed to be the first automaker of the three to release a brand new model, since then, Mitsubishi pulled out of the race in the European market before Renault agreed to build vehicles for Mitsubishi, and with the next-generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander being the main focus, whatever happened to the new car? The latest reports have been about an Eclipse Cross PHEV taking the spotlight, a Ralliart concept, and a next-generation Outlander Sport.
This may sound like a bad thing, the company and the Alliance doesn’t seem to be making good on its new business plan, but at the same time, Mitsubishi Motors definitely reignited its presence in the auto market with the release of the new generation of the Outlander and the fourth-generation of the Outlander PHEV last year (2021). Shaking up the competition, the new Outlander PHEV could sway consumers from Honda and Toyota when it came to the full-sized, plug-in electric SUV segment. It wasn’t so much a change in style that got attention, although there were just enough changes to the appearance, but the performance.
Years ago, Mitsubishi Motors claimed that performance wasn’t limited to sports cars and teased the return of the Evolution nameplate as an electric crossover. We’re still waiting on that one, especially with the revival of Ralliart, but Mitsubishi shows a look at what that could mean with the fourth-generation Outlander PHEV. The powertrain is a 20 kWh battery powering an electric motor and a 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder gas engine. Not only can this PHEV grant 30 to 45 miles with carbon-free emissions – all-electric range – but it will be anything but slow.
Speaking of Ralliart, Mitsubishi Motors has shot any plans for a new Lancer down and is turning into the group into more of an appearance and aftermarket accessory for Mitsubishi consumers. The Ralliart-infused Mitsubishi models at the Tokyo Auto Salon this year (2022) showed hints of Ralliart style with red accents and new badges, but the Outlander PHEV Ralliart had more going for it with all-terrain tires, bumper protectors, mud guards, a roof carrier, and a trailer hitch. There was also a sneak peek at a whole new Ralliart concept with large brake rotors and six-piston brake calipers for more stopping power, 22-inch wheels with bigger tires, unique front and rear bumpers, wider fenders in the front and rear for more rugged looks, and a new front grille.
That last concept is claimed to be built on the same platform as the Outlander PHEV, so it could be the mystery vehicle we were promised. Still, just a concept, what we do know is the next model on the production line is going to be the Outlander Sport. With the great success of the 2022 Outlander and the Outlander PHEV, it’s obvious Mitsubishi Motors is trying to go three-for-three before releasing something new. It’s actually a common strategy for automakers before taking a risk on a model that could flop. Interested to know more about upcoming Mitsubishi models? You can follow us along on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.