It's been a while -- six years, in fact - since Mitsubishi last launched an all-new Outlander crossover utility vehicle, but the Japanese automaker just debuted its new 2013 Outlander at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
If the new Outlander looks a bit familiar, there's a good reason: its exterior styling is closely modeled after both the PX-MiEV and PX-MiEV II concepts, which debuted at the 2009 and 2011 Tokyo auto shows, respectively. Although the rounded, chunky form - which Mitsubishi claims suggests " and " almost makes the new Outlander look substantially larger than its predecessor, it's little more than an optical illusion. The 2013 Outlander's width, height, and wheelbase remain unchanged, while its overall length actually decreased by about a half-inch.
Arguably, the most welcome change comes from within. Despite the addition of some soft-touch materials and an available two-tone color scheme, the present Mitsubishi Outlander is at a disadvantage when it comes to interior appointments. The 2013 Outlander may change that: from what we can see, Mitsubishi gave it an attractive, cleanly-arranged instrument panel, and the automaker pledges materials are far more sophisticated than before. Certainly, the available third-row seat appears to be an improvement: although space appears to remain tight, the two-passenger seat - now split 50/50 - seems far more substantial than the previous jump seat-like appendage.
Mitsubishi has announced two engine choices for Europe (a 2.0-liter I-4 and a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel I-4), but specifications for a North American-market 2013 Outlander are still forthcoming. What is known is the model will almost certainly spawn a plug-in hybrid variant, as previewed by both PX-MiEV concepts.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander will first be available in Russia this summer; from there, the model is scheduled to launch in Europe, Japan, China, and North America. Europe may be an interesting market for the 2013 Outlander: once upon a time, Mitsubishi shared its crossovers with both Peugeot and Citroen, who marketed the vehicle through their own dealer networks. PSA's recent alliance with General Motors - which includes potentially sharing vehicles and platforms - could possibly spell an end to Mitsubishi's arrangement.
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