Mitsubishi Confirms CUV Coupe for 2017, Will Slot Above the Outlander Sport

XR-PHEV concept 1 photo
Photo: S. Baldauf / R. Kah
Mitsubishi has just released details about updated Outland Sport, Mirage and Lancer models. That leaves the company free to focus on more important projects, such as a completely new lineup of crossover utility vehicles. The first of three will arrive in 2017, taking the form of their first high-riding coupe.
BMW started this whole chopped SUV for the lifestyle buyer thing. However, pretty soon every major manufacturer will have such a car due to the ever-increasing popularity of soft-roaders.

Speaking to Automotive News, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko has revealed that the yet unnamed car will slot between the Outlander Sport (known as the ASX in Europe) and the big Outlander.

Fortunately, it's not hard to image what the "Outlander Coupe" will look like, since the Japanese automaker has launched an almost constant barrage of concepts and design studies. Our best guess is that the new Mitsubishi will look like the XR-PHEV design study released in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show.

The concept measured 4,490mm × 1,890 mm × 1,620 mm (length x width x height), so it matches the description of being larger than the Outlander Sport (4,295mm total length).

Speaking of the Outlander, it will be redesigned for 2017, while an all-new Outlander Sport should be ready around 2019. The Mitsubishi CEO has also revealed that the new Outlander and crossover coupe will have plug-in hybrid versions in addition to their conventional gasoline engines.

It could be very interesting stuff, as the XR-PHEV had an FWD setup with a big battery pack and a small 1.1-liter engine offering a combined output of 163 PS and CO2 emissions below 40 grams per kilometer.

Crossovers yes, SUVs not so much

Masuko says the company has decided against building a Pajero successor. The reason has to do with fuel economy, but it also proves classic SUVs with real off-road capabilities are being replaced by crossovers that are more like lifestyle choices than real adventure vehicles.

Unfortunately, all the money for the development of these crossovers has to come from somewhere. Mitsubishi is thus unable to fund development of Lancer and Gallant replacements.

A few years ago, the company tried to convince Renault to help with the development of the next-generation Lancer, but that project stalled completely earlier in 2015. Without a partner, the future looks bleak for these two Japanese sedans. And even if by some miracle Toyota or Mitsubishi agree to help out, the EVO is unlikely to be based on somebody else's car.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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