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The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV is currently the bread-winner for Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA). That might not be the story for long, while the automaker shifts its focus to electric vehicle (EV) development and is set to make the new flagship of the automaker the Eclipse Cross PHEV. The original Eclipse Cross recently won a spot in the 2021 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, so it’s already a great step in the right direction for the new flagship car of Mitsubishi Motors. For now, however, the 2022 Outlander is crushing it in sales and even with the current semiconductor chip shortage, the new SUV is attracting a higher-class crowd and big spenders that will keep Mitsubishi Motors going strong.
It may be surprising to think of an SUV as a luxury vehicle, but these large vehicles have become more than just machines that can handle various driving conditions. We’ve come a long way from the gas guzzlers SUVs once were, and these days, every automaker wants at least one SUV or model they can use to compete in the luxury vehicle class, and not just the mass market. Having sold 6,954 units so far, double the sales of 2020 to date, the new Outlander is forging the path for new and future Mitsubishi models.(more…)
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, MMNA(more…)
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.
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).
Since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance formed, the new automotive group has had many interesting developments. Launching Alliance Ventures to partner with and invest in startups working on improved electric vehicle (EV) and autonomous car technology, the Alliance was on a fast track for success. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed everything down, but Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi held a virtual press conference in May to address business plans going forward. Based on recent news for the Alliance in 2021, a lot of cross-brand sharing is finally taking place.
Earlier on in 2020, Nissan presented a new electric vehicle platform available for use across all three brands. Designed to be flexible, the platform is able to change based on the size, style of its intended use, and perhaps hybrid or electric-augmented powertrains for vehicles that still run on internal combustion engines. In addition to this, a Renault is working on its own new E-body core system for electric-vehicle architecture, and Mitsubishi Motors is set to release the first new vehicle from the Alliance, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The thing with the Alliance, is that although Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are working together and sharing tech, each automaker is still in competition with the other.
Regardless of internal competition, the world may already be seeing the fruits of the cross-brand EV platform from Nissan with a mini EV car set to launch in Japan. Known over there as a “kei car”, it’s $18,400 with over 120 miles of range. We won’t be seeing it in the states, however, but this is just the beginning of two of the automakers finally sharing resources and producing something together. Another recent development announced a Nissan engine in the new Mitsubishi Outlander, and in April Renault and Mitsubishi surfaced with news about a rebadge.
A rebadge model means the vehicle comes from one automaker, changed up a bit, and gets the appropriate decal slapped on it. Mitsubishi will rebadge a Renault vehicle for its European lineup, two actually, to increase its presence and success in the market. These vehicles will have a better chance of making it to the states, with Renault no longer selling in America but Mitsubishi Motors is still present, alive and well. Although the two models have not yet been named, the Japanese automaker will be adopting and adapting at the very least the Renault Clio. It’s currently the best-selling vehicle in its segment and the second-best selling and all of Europe. With some restyling for the Mitsubishi brand and the new Dynamic Shield integrated into the front fascia, the untrained eye may not even notice that the vehicle is a rebadge.
With electric vehicles also on the way, Renault and Nissan are experimenting with sharing battery technology as well, mainly to save on costs by designing a uniform battery that all three automakers can use. At the moment, each automaker is acquiring materials and batteries in their own way. If the Alliance can agree on one EV battery, it will become the first automotive group to cross the threshold of a million cars sold on the same battery module.
We’ll know more soon enough. Keep up with the new developments from the Alliance when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Mitsubishi Electric has been a little quiet as of late. With the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of auto shows, the sister company of Mitsubishi Motors and part of Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) hasn’t had a chance to show off its tech. Now that the auto industry is back up and running, Mitsubishi Electric is lighting up with Project Emerald Dove, a premium in-vehicle cabin experience using the latest and most powerful computing platform to create a unique and intuitive experience for consumers using the Google Android OS, an artificially intelligent (AI) assistant, and new and interesting features. Check out what’s new from Mitsubishi Electric.
First off is some pretty cool stuff. With eight displays with various resolutions ranging from HD to 4k, the entire infotainment system is controlled via the Android OS – recalling a news piece on Mitsubishi and the Google Android back in 2018. Through collaboration, Mitsubishi Electric worked with an AI startup to develop a customized automotive AI assistant that can aid consumers with some basic automotive applications. A simple example – the engine light comes on. The driver can ask the AI assistant to address the problem and schedule a service appointment if an immediate fix is needed. A display at the center of the dashboard will provide visuals for the user as well as offer user/assistant interaction.
“We aim to be ahead of the trends in the industry…The Mitsubishi Electric technologies in this demonstration system have received very positive feedback from our customers and partners and we continue to work towards realizing creative, premium entertainment solutions.” – Mark Rakoski, vice president, Advanced Engineering, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America
Mitsubishi Electric is making it easier for Mitsubishi Motors consumers to make use of their vehicle in a multitude of ways. When used as a personal vehicle, the infotainment system becomes active throughout the cabin, giving access to all passengers. We did say eight displays, all with powerful computing and connectivity features through the cockpit platform. Passengers can browse personal music libraries, adjust the temperature of their zone in the cabin, and for those that like to play navigator, the two front displays can be linked together into one long monitor. Then, the front-passenger can collect navigation information and slide it onto the driver’s screen for upcoming directions and information.
The Android OS also helps with Mitsubishi consumers who use their vehicle also as a commercial vehicle, like ridesharing applications and food delivery. An external visor can be controlled to denote a ride-share or delivery service or when the vehicle is autonomous. Yes, self-driving functionality has also been hinted at. The driver can customize content on the display to better illustrate the service they are providing.
Mitsubishi Electric is also adding some helpful features for on and off the road. Although no parent should forget about their infant in the vehicle, an infant detection system has been installed for all rows. Continuing to hint at autonomous driving, an HD driving mode that can help the vehicle avoid lane blockage or heavy traffic, provide lane-level guidance, and report problems and road conditions. Lastly, Mitsubishi Electric has been working on cyber security.
Lots of cool stuff to talk about, finally. It’s been a while. Nice to see that Mitsubishi Electric is still working on some cool stuff for upcoming Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. Keep up with all the new tech coming from Mitsubishi Electric when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric
The last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition was just sold at an auction in Europe for £100,100. In terms of USD, that’s just under $121,000. It sounds a little absurd that someone would pay over $100,000 for an old sports sedan, but then again, back in 2016, someone spent $76,400 on a Mitsubishi-joint-eBay auction for the last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition. This one was also for the children, with all proceeds going to charity (Feeding America and Second Harvest Food Bank). We’re not sure if the same outcome happened this time around, but it’s a historic moment all the same. Not only did the Lancer EVO VI Tommi Makinen Edition (TME) set a record for the most expensive Mitsubishi ever sold at an auction, but it also marks the departure of Mitsubishi Motors from the UK market.
Wow, that’s a big one. Back in May 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared a new business strategy, along with previews at new and upcoming technology and concepts, with Mitsubishi Motors set as the first automaker in the bunch to release a new vehicle. Since then, we haven’t seen much aside from a Mitsubishi and Nissan mini electric vehicle project and the Mitsubishi Airtek concept, debuted at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. Each automaker in the Alliance will also be setting its sights on different regions to drive sales and pulling out of the UK market might be a part of this new strategy if Mitsubishi doesn’t fare well in parts of Europe.
It’s been some time since we heard any developments from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Almost a year ago, the Alliance held a digital press conference to discuss new plans and business strategies going forward. Always set to be a mutually beneficial but also competitive relationship, each automaker has something to gain, and resources and tech are expected to be shared between them for future and upcoming concepts. A new interesting development, separate from the plans set forth during the press release, is the adaptation of two Renault models for the Mitsubishi Motors lineup in Europe.
During the 2020 press release, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance had a simple plan. One automaker would release a vehicle in a market region, and if its sales were good, the other automakers would do the same in their respective market regions before crossing over and creating competition. Mitsubishi Motors picked the short straw and will be the first automaker to release a new vehicle, but no matter what it is, the vehicle will probably only be sold overseas. At the moment, there are two great contenders – the Mitsubishi and Nissan micro EV minicar project, or the Mitsubishi Airtek concept teased during the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.
There isn’t much information on either of the above vehicles, only that one will be sold in Japan, one in China, and neither in North America. This gives us some hope that with the adaptation of two Renault vehicles for European sales, perhaps Mitsubishi will also bring the vehicles stateside. After all, Renault hasn’t been selling in the U.S. since 1992 after Chrysler bought their American partner, AMC. Their market share today wouldn’t be sufficient to enter the U.S., but Mitsubishi Motors already has a strong foothold on North American soil.
“I am very happy to see Mitsubishi Motors building a new line-up in Europe. The Alliance aims to enhance competitiveness and enable more effective resource-sharing for the benefit of all three companies. Our approach is collaborative, relying on mutual respect, with a clear intention to boost the performance of each company, allowing individual companies to capitalize on their own strengths, avoid duplication of resources and improve efficiencies.” – Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Alliance Operating Board and Renault.
Within the next two years, Mitsubishi will adopt and adapt two models currently produced by Groupe Renault. These aren’t new vehicles and aren’t a part of the new business strategy to test one vehicle in one region. The Alliance has yet to reveal the models that Mitsubishi will rebadge, but one can assume the Renault Clio is on the list. The best-selling vehicle in its segment and the second-best selling in all of Europe, this supermini car has sold 227,079 units in Europe. When rebadged by Mitsubishi Motors, they will also be redesigned to follow the brand’s DNA and new styling, such as the new Dynamic Shield built into the front fascia.
This is just the beginning of cross-platform sharing amongst the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. That mini electric vehicle being sold in Japan is a joint-venture between Mitsubishi and Nissan, possibly built off the new EV platform Nissan developed last year. Heck, the Mitsubishi Outlander is powered by an engine from Nissan. All these new parts from Renault and Nissan, it’s all very reminiscent of the “Six Million Dollar Man”. Follow along with us and see what else happens for Mitsubishi Motors when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.