Mitsubishi Mirage May Become Brand's Next Crossover Vehicle

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Having already bastardized the Eclipse name by affixing it to a new crossover vehicle, there’s palpable fear within the automotive media that Mitsubishi might try the same with another iconic property. While FTO and 3000GT don’t have the right ring to them, we can imagine trendy performance SUV wearing an Evolution badge — to our chagrin.

In our fantasies, we imagine Mitsubishi bringing back a new, harder-hitting Lancer compact and a menacing mid-sized Galant. Maybe the Starion could even make an appearance. However, those models probably wouldn’t sell outside the Land of Make Believe even if they were stellar models. Sport utility vehicles and crossovers are where the money’s at right now, and cash is exactly what Mitsubishi is after.

Keeping that in mind, a new rumor claims the brand is working with Nissan to get its Alliance partner’s modular platform inside the Mirage, or whatever replaces it. The end result will be a small crossover with sporting pretensions, which doesn’t sound bad in the least.

Essentially, it’ll be Mitsubishi’s equivalent of the next Nissan Juke, a model that never saw enough love in North America. The report from Japan’s (応答) indicated it should use the Mirage name, either replacing the model entirely or tacking on the Cross appendix and selling the two models alongside each other.

There was also a rumor earlier this year that the Lancer name was being considered for a small crossover yet to be built. This model would certainly fit the bill, so perhaps the naming strategy hasn’t been settled upon yet.

A 0.9-liter turbo engine with three cylinders is presumed to be the base engine. That unit is estimated to output around 94 horsepower, which is an improvement on the current Mirage but not exactly impressive. There’s also a rumored 1.5 liter turbo diesel and the prospect of an EV model. Mitsubishi also intends to implement coupe-like styling so it can compete with the Suzuki Swift.

With those powerplants and that target, it’s easy to imagine this model staying overseas indefinitely. However, that would leave Mitsubishi short of a subcompact in North America. The Outlander Sport is roughly the same size as the new Eclipse Cross and both would be about almost a foot longer than the hypothetical Mirage crossover.

Either way, the vehicle is supposed to debut in 2019 as a 2020 model.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Salmonmigration Salmonmigration on Jul 25, 2018

    Mitsubishi has carved a niche for itself with this car, being the cheapest wheels you can buy new. They're all over every US metro area. Buy going to a crossover the price is going to bump up and they're going to forfeit that position to someone else. SAD!

  • Mechaman Mechaman on Aug 04, 2018

    Nothing magic about the Mirage name to me. I had one: it sucked. A Dyson should suck so well.

  • Bd2 I wonder how TTAC is celebrating this JuneTeenth? Rolling around naked in hyundai flavored mud somewhere like they usually do?
  • Wjtinfwb I'd like to see a Ford/Mazda relationship restarted. Both companies have some car guys keeping the flame alive and could develop a sports car slightly bigger than a Miata and pick and choose from each other's parts bin to put together some attractive powertrain combo's. Even a Mazda 3 AWD with the 300HP EcoBoost 2.3L, manual and AWD from the Focus RS would be welcome. Even better, a factory Miata V8 with the 480 HP Coyote (i know it wont fit...) and a manual gearbox. And how about a CX-5 with a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with AWD and an chassis tuned for sport. Lots of possibilities.
  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
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