What can we expect from the new Mitsubishi Outlander 2020?
This year, Mitsubishi promises to present the world with several automotive innovations in a completely new style. The Japanese decided to seriously focus on expressive design and show themselves as the company of the future.
To get an idea of what Mitsubishi design will look like tomorrow, it’s worth looking at who makes it today. Japanese companies are quite stable in terms of personnel policy, strong corporate spirit and traditions make employees loyal to the company for many years. But sometimes senior managers leave their home walls to start history from scratch.
This is exactly what happened to Mitsubishi’s new chief designer, Tsunehiro Kunimoto, who had previously spent 40 years at Nissan, where he was Global Design Manager. One of his most famous works is the Nissan Juke city SUV, and his first production car at Mitsubishi was the Eclipse Cross. In other words, the man who’s been building Nissan for decades is tasked with developing a stronger Mitsubishi design. This will be the first key point.
Further, to better understand the needs of Western customers, Mitsubishi is opening a new European design center near Frankfurt. A team of designers in Germany begins to work on the development of concepts. This is the second important point that is worth paying attention to.
But that’s not all. In October 2018, Mitsubishi Motors invites Alessandro Dambrosio, a former designer for Audi and Alfa Romeo, as Executive Design Director Advanced Design. He now leads three Mitsubishi design studios in Akazaki and Tokyo in Japan, as well as in Frankfurt.
Such a long introduction is necessary in order to understand why Mitsubishi will no longer be the same as before. Now it is being painted by Italians, in a German studio, under the direction of a native of Nissan.
The first production car created by the new team will be the next-generation legendary Mitsubishi Outlander. What can we expect from this car? The release is scheduled for the second half of 2020, the information is still being carefully hidden, but the first conclusions can already be drawn.
Significantly, the new Outlander is built on the Renault-Nissan CMF-C/D global platform. It will share it with the future Nissan X-Trail, as well as Sentra, Renault Espace, Kadjar, Mégane, Koleos and Scenic. It can be assumed that now the Outlander will be larger than ever before, close in size to the Hyundai Santa Fe. The car will become noticeably lighter due to the use of a reinforced rigid frame and thin metal. The torque converter is also a thing of the past, along with outdated, according to the French, engines of 2, 2.4 and 3 liters. The transmission will be available as a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable variator. How do you like this perspective? On the one hand, unification and globalization are good, but on the other hand, the traditional quality and durability inherent in Mitsubishi cars of previous generations will go away. As part of an alliance
What awaits us new in appearance? For about five years, Mitsubishi design was dominated by the Dynamic Shield design language or Dynamic Shield. It is recognizable by its aggressive looking X-shaped section ("dynamic") with outer square-cut sections ("shield"). Traditionally, they try to express character in the form of air intakes. But now they are no longer needed so large, so part of their silhouette is occupied by black trim. But this was before the appointment of Alessandro Dambrosio, which means it is a thing of the past.
The prototype of the future Outlander was presented a year ago at the Geneva Motor Show. The concept is called the Engelberg Tourer, which comes from the Swiss mountain region of Engelberg, which is especially popular among freeriders. And this is not surprising, we remember that Mitsubishi design is now being created in Germany, apparently the Swiss mountains are closer to them than the Japanese Fujiyama.
The Engelberg Tourer has an impressive appearance, and the Japanese company itself calls the car an "elegant and functional crossover" with a spacious interior. Reliable and sporty, like all Mitsubishis. True, if you look closely, this sport is most likely rugby, since the model is muscular and stocky.
Volumes and shapes seem more like robots. The result is a massive SUV with a high, elongated hood including a Dynamic Shield grille, a flat windshield and a crisp rear end with narrow taillights.
Particularly striking are the bi-level headlights, which offer a separation of daytime running lights and headlights. It is noteworthy that the concept does without classic exterior mirrors, instead of them there are cameras. And where we have already seen this, right at the Audi E-Tron, and remember where the new designer came from.
Some designers go out of their way to leave out the exterior mirrors, after all our eyes get used to it and the car looks inferior without it. The Japanese, however, say that design is not something set in stone, and in any case, it must be constantly developed – and every technical improvement will be just wonderful. I’m afraid that only engineers are not yet ready to realize such desires in practice, and mirrors will remain in the new Outlander.
It is expected that in the new car there will be a special emphasis on space for passengers in the back row, and most likely the interior will become three-row. Due to the hidden A-pillars and side glazing, the roof of the SUV will be visually floating or "floating".
The new generation of Outlander is already being tested, photos in camouflage periodically appear on the network.
We can say that Mitsubishi does not make concepts just like that, we see that the real car inherited a lot from its prototype. The body details will be different, but the overall architecture is likely to be identical. Even through the camouflage covers, we can see that the Outlander has a blunt front end, a flat roof, pronounced wheel arches, a part with identically spaced air vents and almost identical lighting. Even the rear has a lot in common, from the rear passenger windows to the lighting elements.
As for engines, one of the options could be a one and a half liter “turbo four" with a capacity of more than 150 hp borrowed from the Eclipse Cross crossover. There will most likely be no more diesel versions, they will be replaced by a hybrid version of the PHEV with a naturally aspirated 2.4 engine.
Here’s a Mitsubishi Outlander waiting for us this year. It becomes difficult to call it a purely Japanese car. It turns out a kind of global product with Japanese traditions, French base and German design. Wait and see. Thanks for the likes and subscription.