We've all heard the news by now: in the wake of Suzuki's death in the United States, Mitsubishi doubled-down and promised to stay in the U.S. market despite ballooning inventory, tanking sales, and little in the way of new product. While the first two points are more difficult to fix, Mitsubishi hopes to address the third later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show by launching two new products, the 2014 Outlander SUV and a new Limited Edition trim level for its 2013 Outlander Sport CUV.
The 2014 Outlander debuted at this year's Geneva Motor Show and has actually been on sale for a while in the Japanese domestic market, at least in conventional gas-burning form (a plug-in hybrid is still in the works). Mitsubishi is setting some ambitious goals by saying that the Outlander will have compact CUV fuel economy while also arriving in showrooms with seven seats as standard equipment. As such, it seems as if Mitsubishi is targeting a 30-mpg highway rating, although it's unclear exactly how the Outlander will do earn that figure. The Outlander will be available with a 2.0-liter I-4 in European markets, but Mitsubishi has yet to detail powertrain options for the U.S. market. Instead, Mitsubishi promises a MIVEC engine with an updated variable valve and lift timing system to improve fuel economy.The Outlander will also feature a few tricks Mitsubishi hasn’t previously offered in the U.S.,including forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The second car is less of a new model and more of a trim level update. The 2013 Outlander Sport Limited Edition, which builds on the 2013 Outlander Sport's new-for-2013 facelifted exterior and minor mechanical changes. The Limited Edition gains black mirror caps and a black grille divider, along with black roof rails and "dark chrome alloy wheels.” The only mechanical change comes in the form of a different engine balancer shaft, which promises stronger acceleration while reducing NVH and keeping highway fuel economy pegged at 31 mpg, the same as stock Outlander Sports. The package is rounded out with a six-way power driver's seat, aluminum pedals, a leather-covered handbrake lever, and two tone gray/black leather upholstery.
If any of this piqued your curiosity, do stay tuned: Mitsubishi promises to reveal the new model and the new trim level at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Thursday, November 29. An on-sale date for either model has yet to be announced.
Pictured are the 2013 Outlander (for the international market, the equivalent of the 2014 U.S.-market Outlander) and the 2013 Outlander Sport (without Limited Edition trim pieces).