Mitsubishi Mirage Gets Kei-Car Rivaling 27.2 km / L Fuel Economy

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, May 19th, 2012

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing here about how Nissan had improved fuel economy for their Moco kei car so that it can now get 27.2 km / L. And I also recall writing that I thought it would still be a hard sell when stacked up against the 30 km / L Daihatsu Mira e:S kei, whose pricing starts from 795,000 JPY.

But here’s something to really set the cat among the pigeons … Mitsubishi’s new Mirage.

Mitsubishi Mirage 2012 model

Mitsubishi announced today that it’s new global car, the Mirage, will achieve 27.2 km / L on the JC08 cycle.  That’s as good as the Moco with its fancy “idling stop” tech.

But it gets better. (Or worse for these kei car makers, depending on your point of view.) This Mirage is not a kei car. It’s a regular compact car with a 3-pot 1 liter engine, not the 660 CC motors found in kei cars. And even though it’s 40 cm longer — giving a much more roomy interior — the use of high-performance steel in the engine bay keeps its weight down to just 830KG, only 100 KG more than the Daihatsu e:S.

And here’s the real kicker:

The exact figure is still all hush-hush, but Mitsubishi says that the 1 liter Mirage will come in at under 1 million Yen in Japan. It beats the keis on size. It equals the best of them on fuel economy. It’s 1 liter engine is likely to be more powerful. (No figures yet, but it’s got a 30% higher capacity.) And it’s cheaper than all but the cheapest of these kei cars.

They plan on selling 30,000 a year in Japan. I think they may be wrong. In a good way.

Mitsubishi has a winner here.

Sources: WSJ Japan (Japanese-language), Wikipedia (Japanese-language)

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3 Responses to “Mitsubishi Mirage Gets Kei-Car Rivaling 27.2 km / L Fuel Economy”

  1. Tony Boswell says:

    Is this essentially the same Mitsubishi 3B21 engine used in European and U.S Smart cars from 2007 to date (2012). If so then it tunes up to around 120 bhp and is really quite useful in a 700kg Smart Car!

  2. Darin says:

    Just to clarify, the Mirage is using the 3A90 1.0L engine – not the same one used in the Smart.

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