Mitsubishi today confirmed that the centrepiece of the Mitsubishi stand, the EX Concept (pictured), will form the basis of the new Mitsubishi ASX. It will also point to the styling of a new mid-model in the Mitsubishi SUV line-up.
In a closed media briefing, MMC President, Mr Tetsuro Aikawa said that the EX Concept is an image of the “next model in the ASX class”, expected in the “2017 fiscal year”.
However, he also confirmed that there will be an all-new model coming, “a little higher in grade, another compact SUV model.”
This new mid-sized model will slot between the ASX and Outlander, pushing the ASX down to compete with the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V and sitting above it as “a little larger and a little more expensive (than the ASX)”.
Aikawa also confirmed the Outlander platform will be the basis for this car, and, like the Outlander, it will also be offered as a PHEV, plug-in hybrid, version. The XR-PHEV concept (below) is said to hint at its styling.
As a sign of an increased reliance on its SUV models, and confirmation that the Lancer, like the Pajero, is all-but stalled with no replacement in sight, the new mid-model SUV will be offered in diesel, petrol and PHEV variants.
Aikawa also revealed that the Mitsubishi Challenger's replacement (launching in Australia in December) will bear the name "Pajero Sport". All up, Mitsubishi's future SUV spread will number five different models.
But a question mark hovers over the full-size Pajero. The current generation model is now nine years old, and Aikawa says an all-new replacement is not in the pipeline. The issue for Mitsubishi is in meeting the increasingly stringent European emissions regulations, due in 2020, which will likely see the Pajero retired.
"(We will be) continuing on with the present model Pajero for some time," Mr Aikawa said.
Aside from the current generation Pajero and the new Pajero Sport, all other Mitsubishi SUVs will spring from front-wheel-drive platforms, with AWD and PHEV versions at the premium end.