Posts Tagged ‘mirage’

Mitsubishi Dynamic Shield Coming to ASX, Lancer & Mirage

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 25th, 2015

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

We’ve learned this week that Mitsubishi plans to make some big design changes to their lineup to help improve their brand’s recognizability in both the US and international markets.

Remember the ‘Dynamic Shield’ front grille design showcased on the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander from earlier this month at the 2015 New York Auto Show? It’s pictured above if you need a reference. Mitsubishi apparently plans to make this Dynamic Shield design into their official corporate grille, similar to what Lexus has done with their pinched spindle grille and what Nissan has done with their V-motion design.

According to an interview between Mitsubishi’s US VP, Don Swearingen, and CarAdvice.com.au, they will first adopt the new grille on the 2016 Outlander Sport, otherwise known as the Mitsubishi ASX. He said, “The new brand identity that you see on this [2016 Outlander] will carry over. In the US, after this vehicle we’re going to first go with the Outlander Sport (ASX).” He went on to say that the re-designed Outlander Sport would be here by October or November of this year as a 2016MY.

But it doesn’t stop there… Mitsubishi plans to release a Dynamic Shield-styled Mirage sometime in the first quarter of next year. This is extra-big news because it also means that Mitsubishi plans to bring the re-styled Mirage sedan to the US next year too. We’re sure the addition of a stylish family sedan to their US portfolio will bolster sales.

Mitsubishi also plans to update their relatively stagnant Lancer with the Dynamic Shield design language, but Swearingen said it’s the lowest priority of the three. He said the changes may not be as drastic as what they have planned for the ASX and Mirage, but that they too should be here within the next 12 months.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

This Japanese car auction find should give you a pretty good idea of where Mitsubishi is coming from with their Dynamic Shield design. Looking at a car like the 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage, it’s hard to argue with the efficiency of their vehicles.

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage rear

2012 would’ve been the first model year in the sixth-generation of the Mirage’s production, and while the lime-green hatch you see here is a bit quirky in design, it makes up for it by being the lightest four-door in any segment except for the two-passenger Smart ForTwo, which is hardly even a fair comparison. It also boasts the lowest drag coefficient in its class, which combines with the 1.0L petrol to offer an astounding 63 mpg on the Japanese JCO8 cycle without using an electric motor. Truly impressive.

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage interior

To learn more about this 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage auction find, keep reading below the auction sheet:

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition C, first registered October 2012, G model, DBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, gasoline engine, Auto Stop and Go, electrical retraction mechanism on mirrors, rear wiper, smoked glass windows, original navigation system and TV, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, original navigation system, original TV, stone chips in front windscreen, interior grime, scratches and dimples and scrapes, wheel caps scratches, marks as per map”


Mitsubishi Concept G4 Mirage-Based Sedan Coming to Auto Shanghai 2013

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

For those of you who don’t know, the Auto Shanghai 2013 motor show is this weekend from April 20 to April 27. As such, we’ll see several new previews this week for what different automotive manufacturers will be bringing to the show. Today we’re going to be talking about Mitsubishi and the Concept G4 saloon that they’ll be bringing.

First, though, we should make it clear that the Mitsubishi Concept G4 will NOT be making its debut in Shanghai, contrary to what you might have read today on AutoCar. The G4 made its original debut last month at the Bangkok Motor Show. But, being that Bangkok is a rather small event and coverage was limited, it would be understandable if you missed it.

Mitsubishi G4 Concept

So, with that slight issue out of the way, what’s the scoop on Mitsubishi’s new concept sedan?

As you may be able to tell, the Concept G4 is heavily influenced by the Mitsubishi Mirage, which is to go on sale in the US later this year. The G4 study is more or less a Mirage sedan, which becomes much more obvious when imagined without all the blue tints and design frills seen in the show car. The G4 is even built on the same RISE chassis (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) as the Mirage, and will use the same 1.2L 3-cylinder MIVEC engine paired with a front-wheel-only CVT.

So, what separates the G4 from the Mirage other than its classification as a sedan?

Actually, not that much. The show car in Mitsubishi’s released images looks extremely distinctive, but at its core it has very similar design elements to the Mirage. An abbreviated front clip, large doors, and a straightforward linear design all define both the Mirage and the G4. Furthermore, both cars place a heavy emphasis on interior space and back-to-basics features.

Similarities between the Mirage and G4 aside, Mitsubishi emphasized that one of the most appealing characteristics of the new sedan is its light-weight design. They say that as a light-weight vehicle with a short nose, the sedan will offer drivers “agile and pleasing” driving dynamics.

Unfortunately, the G4 will require spectacular driving dynamics if it’s to do well at all, since the overwhelming response to the G4 has been negative. People just aren’t all that excited about the Mirage, and a sedan version doesn’t make things any better. The Auto Shanghai show car looks good, sure, but the plain version you’ll see on a showroom floor will likely look bland. Put simply, Mitsubishi needs to do something different to stand out from the crowd, and instead they’re just doing more of the same.

Whatever you think about the Concept G4 pictured here, you’ll have to wait until Auto Shanghai to formulate a final opinion, and even then the production model could have some slight changes.

For anyone who’s interested, Mitsubishi will also be bringing their CA-MiEV Concept to Shanghai, but regular readers here have already seen it from Geneva. Either way, stay tuned later this week and next week for more coverage of the exciting Auto Shanghai 2013 International Motor Show.

Sources: Autocar, Carscoops


Mitsubishi Mirage Debuts at the 2013 New York Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, March 31st, 2013

In the last post, we covered the two new cars Subaru brought to the 2013 New York Motor Show. Today, we’re going to cover another Japanese car from New York, albeit from a slightly less popular brand – the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Mitsubishi Mirage

It’s no secret that Mitsubishi is struggling, especially in the US. It’s not very often that you see the triple diamond logo on the road. Both their dealerships and their product line are in a state of decay, and if something doesn’t change in the next few years, then chances are Mitsubishi will go the way of Suzuki.

What does this have to do with the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage?

Well, even though Mitsubishi won’t say it themselves, the 2014 Mirage will have a very significant impact on whether or not the brand succeeds in the US. This is an all-or-nothing car for Mitsubishi, and one that they desperately need to get right. That’s why I have to question bringing back the Mirage from a profitability stand-point… Just as Mazda has explained in the past, catering to the cheapest-of-cheap buyers is NOT the way to make money in the automotive industry. Quality trumps affordability if you’re trying to make real money.

But enough about marketing and branding, let’s talk about the car. Here’s what the revived 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage will bring to the table:

The 2014 Mirage Offers “Best in Class” Fuel Economy

According to Mitsubishi, what separates the Mirage from every other subcompact in the American market is its incredible fuel economy. In fact, they claim that the 2014 Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market with a combined fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon (37 mpg city, 44 mpg highway). That being said, these numbers aren’t official and an EPA rating is still pending.

How does the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage achieve such impressive fuel economy numbers?

First, the little hatchback is very lightweight with its RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) chassis – it only weighs about 1,850 lbs at its lightest configuration. Second, the car is very small – only ~148 inches long, ~65 inches wide, and just under 5 feet tall. That’s about a foot shorter (legth-wise) than the Ford Fiesta. Third, the car will be powered by a very conservative 74hp 1.2L three-cylinder engine with a continually variable transmission.

Apparently, the Mirage will even give drivers a little pat on the back via an ECO indicator light, letting you know when you’re operating at max fuel efficiency. Neat!

The Mirage Packs Some Other Goodies, Too

Mitsubishi knows that it needs to be able to compete on more than just fuel economy, though, if it wants to stand a chance against the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta. That’s why even the most economical trim-package gets technological goodies like power windows, Hill Start Assist, a 140-watt stereo with USB connectivity, and keyless entry.

Mitsubishi also claims that the 2014 Mirage is the most aerodynamic subcompact on the market. And it’s obvious, too – just look at that sweet rear spoiler! You’ll get plenty of downforce when you’re zooming from 0 to 60 in 11 seconds.

All in all, I’m not sure if the Mitsubishi Mirage and the now-confirmed Outlander will be enough to sustain reasonable sales, much less improve them. The Mirage in particular is late to the party, so the car will need to be incredible if it’s going to compete. Still, it’s always good to see another Japanese competitor against the Ford Fiesta, so I’m not complaining. Whatever you think about the Mirage, thanks for reading and come back next week for some final coverage of the New York Motor Show!

Oh, and I almost forgot, check out this video of the new Mirage below:

Sources: Autoblog, Car and Driver


Mitsubishi Planning An American Revival

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

According to Mitsubishi Motor Corp. (MMC) President Osamu Masuko, things have gotten as bad as they’re going to get for the brand’s US presence. In a recent interview with Hans Greimel of Automotive News (autonews.com), Mr. Masuko clearly laid out his plan for the brand’s future resurgence in the US market.

Are their plans desperate, daring, or just plain daft? That will be up to you to decide after getting the full scoop below.

First, it’s important that you get a real idea for how poorly Mitsubishi is doing in the States. Over the past year, the entire American automotive market has shown a growth of 14%. However, in the same amount of time Mitsubishi has seen a 28% decline in sales. During the last fiscal year Mitsubishi sold close to 70,000 cars, while this year they are on track to sell a measly 55,000 units by March 31, 2013. To be fair, this year Mitsubishi did cut four vehicles from their US lineup (Eclipse, Endeavor, Galant, Spyder), which certainly could correlate to an overall decrease in sales. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that Mitsubishi is floundering, and if things don’t turn around in the next few years it would be unsurprising if they left the States altogether.

So, what is Mitsubishi’s game plan going forward? How are they going to revive their share of the US market?

Step 1. Increase volume, particularly of the Outlander

One car in particular seems to be the cornerstone of Mitsubishi’s North American presence going forward, and that car is the Outlander. The Outlander Sport was introduced to the US market in July of this year, and Osamu Masuko believes just having that car available for a full year will have a dramatic impact on their sales. Furthermore, Mitsubishi will be introducing a redesigned Outlander about halfway through next year to maintain their forward momentum. Then, in January of 2014 they plan to release the Outlander plug-in hybrid to the US market (it’s being released in Japan in January, 2013).

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid 2013

Not only is Mitsubishi putting a heavy emphasis on the Outlander trio (Outlander, Outlander Sport, Outlander plug-in) from a marketing standpoint, they’re also ramping up production at their Normal, Ill. factory. Currently the automotive plant is producing 50,000 units per year, but plans are in place to increase production to 70,000 units per year. Obviously, all of these Outlanders won’t fit within Mitsubishi’s share of the US market, so they plan to export Outlanders from Normal to places like Latin America, the Middle East and Russia. The aim of this maneuver is for Mitsubishi to make the most of their manufacturing capabilities without requiring significant expansion.

Step 2. Introducing the Mirage

Mitsubishi’s newest member of their lineup is the Mirage, which debuted at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. With the slogan “Less is more”, the Mirage is intended to appeal to the sub-compact segment with a smaller size, lighter weight, but better fuel efficiency than the competition (hello VW Polo).

Interestingly enough, the Mirage is also a pivotal piece of Mitsubishi’s plan to increase their presence in Europe, not just in North America. Although, the Europeans will see a battery-powered version at some point, while us Americans will only ever get the 1.0L and 1.2L 3-cylinder petrol engine variants. Mitsubishi has plans to release the Mirage to the North American market sometime around September of 2013.

At the end of the interview with AutoNews, Osamu Masuko made it clear that Mitsubishi has no plans whatsoever to withdraw from the US market. He believes that the plan to make the US into an exporting base along with the slow increase of their lineup should stymie the steady reduction in sales they’ve faced over the past year. However, I’m sure Suzuki never planned to withdraw from the US market, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never rooting against a Japanese car manufacturer, but is Mitsubishi is doing enough to avoid that fate?

Source: AutoNews


Mitsubishi’s “Global Car” Mirage to Start Production in China in 2014

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Another week, another global automaker teaming up with a local partner and starting production in China

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

This time, it’s Mitsubishi. And the car is their so-called “global car”, the Mirage. This is the first new Mirage in 12 years, and production initially started in April in Mitsubishi’s own factory in Thailand. Then in 2014 Mitsubishi and their Chinese partner will start production in China, aiming at a production target of 100,000 vehicles per year.

Mitsubishi sees the new Mirage as an opportunity to capitalize on China’s expected growth in demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Sources: Nikkei (Japanese), Wikipedia (Japanese)