By on January 30, 2019

Mitsubishi is too busy turning the brand around to bother trickling out newsworthy content to the media. Much of what you read in the press relates to how the brand is doing as the newest addition to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, hot takes regarding its marketing decisions, and the occasional update from auto executives on future products. For the most part, the latter issue can be paraphrased into “more utility models as soon as we can get them to you,” though the company does have limited aspirations for a new sedan and pickup.

However, crossovers come first at Mitsubishi. On Tuesday, the brand put out the initial teaser for its Engelberg Tourer Concept — an ultra-modern CUV with off-road ambitions headed for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

While named after a picturesque alpine village and popular skiing destination in central Switzerland, that’s not the first thing that springs to mind. Engelberg would be a great surname for a Gregory or Eugene but not something we’d ever pick for an automobile.

While some light research reveals the region to be site of sporadic rallying, it’s not a location most racing fans would associate with motorsport. It’s truly an odd naming choice and rolls off the tongue like balled-up toilet paper. It feels like a moniker from the the turn of the century — and we don’t mean the last one.  An “Engelberg Tourer” sounds like a vehicle that came with running boards and a throttle lever instead of a gas pedal.

That’s double damnation, considering the car looks to be about as futuristic as modern concepts get. The headlamps are exceptionally slim, framed by blue LED elements that help outline what looks to be a rather large grille. It’s a familiar look, as Mitsubishi incorporates the hourglass shape into the front fascia of many of its production models (and has introduced several concept vehicles playing host this more-aggressive version). Yet we can’t help but feel we’ve seen this exact face before on trade show cars like the GT-PHEV and eX (pictured above and below, respectively).

Still, we’ll reserve final judgement until the car emerges from the shadows. All we have now are the broad strokes. The Mordecai Engelberg Tourer might look totally different in the light.

According to Mitsubishi, the concept places “a focus on next-generation technology and enhanced EV performance” but that light bar on the roof screams “drive it through some mud.” How capable this car is off-road won’t matter until we find out if this concept is realistic enough to foreshadow a production model.

We’ll know on March 5th, when the Engelberg Tourer debuts at the Geneva International Motor Show.

[Images: Mitsubishi]

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13 Comments on “Mitsubishi Teases Futuristic Crossover Concept With Odd Name...”


  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    I’ll wait for the Fogelberg Tourer. It’s sure to be the leader of the band, and it’ll run longer than there’ve been fishes in the ocean. I hear the self-driving feature is iffy, though. It’s never easy and it’s never clear who’s to navigate and who’s to steer.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    What Mitsubishi needs is something along the lines of the Kia Soul. Cheap, cheerful, versatile. Somewhat oddball. A vehicle that would sell like hotcakes and instantly generate buzz. People would disregard the fact that it came from a brand with zero equity in the US market. Being a Japanese brand name, it would not suffer from people being afraid to take a chance on it, i.e. anything Fiat.

    One area that I think Mitsubishi could exploit is something like a modern version of the Geo Tracker / Suzuki Sidekick. Remember how many of those you saw 20 years ago? They were everywhere. They were cheap, fun, reliable, and actually pretty stout off road. If Mitsu brought something like that back, they’d be instantly back on the map. Maybe along the lines of a Renegade but with a real removable top like the old Sidekick. Kind of a Japanese Wrangler but one size smaller.

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I didn’t see your comment before I posted, but I agree.

      Suzuki already makes something like this and doesn’t sell it in the US unfortunately. I believe that I would actually look at a Mitsubishi like you describe, as well. The Wrangler doesn’t have a lot of competition, and even if Ford enters the segment with the Bronco (which I believe will be even more huge than the new JL Wrangler), a genuinely small and reliable off-roader would probably still command a powerful niche audience.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I feel like manufacturers are all running to the same design firms. Remember when everyone jumped on the floating roof deal at the same time? Now it’s the fake headlights. Very strange

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This concept still has the floating roof thing too so apparently they haven’t moved on yet. Its like tailfins all over again.

      I’m sure there is some psychology class that explains why this happens. In general it seems to point back to a radical change that somehow captivates people. So in order to seem trendy your design better mimic that change. Like Audi’s LED turn signals, once people identified these as “cool” every car got them. Ironically as such elements become more common they lose their luster and thus the cycle begins again with some new hotness.

  • avatar
    NG5

    I don’t care about any of these CUVs, but if Suzuki came back to North America with the new Jimny, I would get in line to buy one immediately. As sportyaccordy said, these vehicles all seem to be going to the same well. If they are concerned to compete in all segments, maybe someone like Nissan could try importing/rebadging the Jimny as a bare bones Jeep Wrangler competitor. Just sayin…

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    I’m not looking forward to finding out what rhymes with Engelberg in the inevitable rapping salesman ad.

  • avatar
    b534202

    I don’t associate Hyundia/KIA with the American southwest but no one cares that they named their cars after places there.


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