By on May 23, 2019

Image: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi is sticking to its original plan to put some size distance between its three crossover models, but don’t worry — there’s still plenty of time to get into an Outlander Sport.

The brand had originally anticipated a downsized model appearing by the 2019 model year, but those plans landed on ice after Mitsubishi entered the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Instead, the aging Outlander Sport continued on, joined by an Eclipse Cross of nearly the same size. A replacement is on the way, one senior source claims, and buyers have the alliance to thank for it.

Speaking to Autocar, a senior company source said that the Outlander Sport replacement and next-generation Outlander will shrink and grow, respectively, each placing 200 mm of body length between it and the Eclipse Cross. That’s just under 8 inches, for the metrically challenged.

It’s also essentially the same plan as before.

“Today we aren’t in an ideal position, with our SUVs close in size, but in the next 18 months you will start to see a strategy that separates them out,” the source said. “The good news is that the SUV is core to Mitsubishi’s DNA and on that front the world is coming to us. We have a strong reputation in the market – as well as for plug-in hybrids and even electrification – and we can build on that.”

That timeline jobes with comments made by former Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Don Swearingen in January 2018. The exec stated that, contrary to prior promises, the Outlander Sport’s downsizing wouldn’t occur for two to three years.

A platform sourced from the Renault-Nissan bin will underpin the new crossover, and a fully electric version is in the works, the source claimed.

“We will not have a unique nameplate, but instead offer the appropriate electrification options for the vehicles and how people will use them,” the individual said. The next outlander will continue offering a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, they added, while the next-generation Eclipse Cross will arrive in hybrid and plug-in hybrid guise.

Elsewhere in the lineup, it seems Mitsu’s still on the fence when it comes to the subcompact Mirage’s future. Making a global Mirage that satisfies all markets isn’t easy, the source said.

“If you try to build one car for both Asia and Europe, it’s clear you end up pleasing neither,” a source said. “It’s either too lowly specced or too highly specced depending on your perspective. We have a couple of options. We could look to the Renault-Nissan Alliance for a solution, or we could move towards a battery-electric city car for some markets.”

[Image: Mitsubishi]

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