Mitsubishi plans to introduce a new SUV and small car by 2012 as part of their plan to launch new sales, strengthen their sales network, and reaffirm their commitment to staying in the North American market. There should be a new “Outback Sport” based on the Concept cX, but could the new compact car be based on the Concept cT?
The last year or so has been pretty rough on most of the auto makers around the world. Mitsubishi is no different. Today, word hit the wire that Mitsubishi is looking to bounce back by bringing a new SUV and small car to the North American market. They also plan on reviewing their dealerships, cutting ties with poor performers and maybe even adding some new dealers from the surplus of dealerships left in the cold by GM and Chrysler recently. Mitsubishi intends to reaffirm their commitment to remain in the North American auto market.
The revitalization of the American business is very important … we’re reviewing many things. – Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi Motors President
Let’s speculate about these new models!
The Mitsubishi Outlander has been recently updated and it’s not hard to spot their affinity for the larger, grille in that bullish front end design. We already see this theme playing out in the new Lancer, but the new Outlander takes it’s design queues from the Concept cX. Once upon a time, Mitsubishi considered the cX to be a common rail, direct-injected turbo diesel. Instead, look for the North American market to see conventional gasoline 2.0L mated to a FWD or AWD transmission by fall of next year. Probably a safe bet to expect some kind of sport shift, flappy paddle slushbox either way, but we can hope, right? What do you think? Would this be a Mitsubishi you’d want to check out in person? Would you prefer the turbo diesel with all wheel drive and a stick shift?
Mitsu also says they’re working on a new small car. It’s going to be a global model, meaning they intend to sell it all over the world. This new model is said to be smaller than the Colt, which is interesting. There’s a wave of super compacts coming to the North American market in the next couple of years. Right now, the Mini Cooper is king of the sandbox, but it will soon have to stand up to new rivals from Ford (Fiesta, Kuga) and Fiat-Chrysler (500, MiTo?). Could Mitsubishi, who has done well in the past with smaller cars, step into the ring with a real contender? All they said so far is “small car… smaller than the Colt.”
Enter the 2006 Mitsubishi Concept cT.
That’s right. 2006. Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show back in early 2006, the Concept cT really reflects Mitsubishi’s “wake up and drive” mindset. Sure, it’s a sub-compact hybrid with a puny, 1.0L inline three cranking out slightly more power than a Corvette starter motor (67hp), but this hybrid makes use of MiEV (Mitsubishi in-wheel Electric Vehicle) technology. This is an all wheel drive hybrid meant to deliver exciting driving to the environmentally responsible.
What do you think about this concept car? Hybrid, MiEV technology aside, considering it’s size, could it be a hint at the next small Mitsubishi we’re going to get in 2012? Being from 2006, the cT doesn’t feature the aggressive new grille being integrated into all the new models, but it’s not a stretch to imagine it!
The cT has the style to roll with the other micro cars coming over from Europe in the near future. There’s no mistaking this car for anything other than a Mitsubishi. They’ve got the technology to build a unique hybrid and they’ve got the experience to build a real street weapon too. To us, this sounds like it might just be the perfect opportunity for Mitsubishi to remind the world that building “pocket rockets” is what they do best.
Does this look like a Mini Cooper hunter or what?