Separation Agreement: Mitsubishi's Delayed Crossover Plan Grows Clearer

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
separation agreement mitsubishis delayed crossover plan grows clearer

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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  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on May 23, 2019

    Where is the pickup truck?

    • Thomasbeagle Thomasbeagle on May 23, 2019

      All over the roads in New Zealand - Mitsubish Triton is the second biggest selling pickup here. (Or "ute" as we call them.)

  • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on May 24, 2019

    The pickup is what they need. Or possibly a 4runner competitor. I gather from interviews with Mitsubishi's execs they do want to bring the pickup up over but they seems to be waiting for the next redesign.

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on May 24, 2019

      Looking into this further. The Pajero sport and Triton both look like things that should be offered here. The only issue may be the limited V6 engine options Mitsubishi currently offers. They would either need a powerful turbo 4 or a V6 with more power to meet the US market demands.

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.