Mitsubishi Plans to Boost Sales With Blown Engines

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mitsubishi plans to boost sales with blown engines

Mitsubishi has a plan to gain market share in the U.S. that’s right out of the ’80s.

Dealers were told during last weekend’s National Automobile Dealers Association conference that Mitsubishi will introduce turbocharged engines to model line, according to Automotive News.

The forced-induction renaissance will begin with a 1.5-liter mill powering the automaker’s planned midsize crossover, expected in 2018, which will slot between an enlarged Outlander and the Outlander Sport.

That model is expected to draw on the styling of last year’s XR-PHEV II concept vehicle.

Executives told dealers that a turbocharged engine is being considered for the next-generation Outlander, and a 1.1-liter turbo might make it into the diminutive Mirage and Mirage G4 sedan. Those additions wouldn’t happen until 2019.

The possibility of a blown engine in the Mirage would no doubt be welcomed by existing owners, who currently have just 74 pounds-feet of torque on tap from the model’s 1.2-liter naturally aspirated engine.

Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America, told dealers the engines are needed to keep up with fuel economy requirements, especially in the Outlander’s case.

“Everybody in the industry is going to be going even further in this direction,” he said.

Mitsubishi built its brand recognition around turbos in the 1980s and ’90s, cranking out blown models like it was going out of style.

The automaker’s dismal post-recession sales had the brand on a death watch in the U.S., but last year’s numbers — the best since 2008 — show a clear, albeit modest, upward sales trend. Mitsubishi is helping pull its U.S. operation back from the brink with a planned ad budget boost this year.

Join the conversation
3 of 34 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on Apr 04, 2016

    Writers sometimes don't make any sense. And this is one of those times: "The possibility of a blown engine in the Mirage would no doubt be welcomed by existing owners, who currently have just 74 pounds-feet of torque on tap from the model’s 1.2-liter naturally aspirated engine." How in this world will it help existing owners? Will they care at all? They already bought their cars and will probably not make this mistake again. Does this sentence makes sense to you? To me it sounds as Mitsu will add something to their purchased cars and they will welcome this.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 04, 2016

      Excellent point. Maybe it will be an over-the-air update, like Tesla does.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 06, 2016

    For some reason I have a strong aversion to any engine below 2 litres, with a turbo or without. I've seen Santa Fes tooling around with a 1.6T and a 2.0T and always pause. I always have to wonder if the engine sans turbo is even able to move the car. Is there a general percentage of power that the engine itself makes before the turbo gubbins are added? I have to imagine my engine is related to that in the stock Focus, with lower compression of course, and would make similar power numbers without the turbo 160/143. Am I fundamentally misunderstanding something?

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.