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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Mitsubishi Outlander has been unveiled at the Geneva motor show ahead of its Australian launch in December.

The third-generation Outlander medium SUV has been completely redesigned inside and out, with a range of new drivetrains including an innovative plug-in hybrid variant due in 2013.

Mitsubishi Australia’s Caitlin Beale confirmed the Outlander was scheduled to go on sale in Australia at the very end of 2012.

The line-up will include two petrol engines: a 110kW/195Nm 2.0-litre and a 2.4-litre unit (specifications still to be revealed). Mitsubishi Australia is also trying to secure the 2.2-litre diesel engine, and while head office is yet to officially sign off on the powerplant for our market, Beale says there is a “fairly good” chance it will join the petrol engines in the initial launch line-up.

The diesel engine produces 110kW of power and 380Nm of torque when teamed with a six-speed manual transmission (360Nm with a six-speed automatic). The diesel manual, along with the five-speed manual and CVT versions of the 2.0-litre petrol, will incorporate stop-start technology for enhanced fuel efficiency.

The super-efficient Outlander plug-in hybrid will follow shortly after in April 2013, and appears set to become the first SUV of its kind in Australia. Mitsubishi anticipates the Outlander plug-in will have an electric range of 50km, will achieve average fuel economy as good as 1.7 litres per 100km, and will have a total range in excess of 800km.

Australians will get their first look at the all-new Outlander at the Sydney motor show in October 2012.

At 4655mm long, 1800mm wide, 1680mm tall and with a 2670mm wheelbase, the new Outlander is 10mm shorter and 40mm lower than the outgoing model, and equal in width and wheelbase.

The Outlander’s styling remains true to the Mitsubishi PX-MiEV concept that was first exhibited at the 2009 Tokyo motor show. Slimline headlights integrate into the thin, Volkswagen-esque horizontal grille at the front, while the taillights get clear lenses that link across the rear hatch.

The revised cabin carries over the uncluttered nature of the outgoing model but is decidedly more refined, with a clear European influence creating a premium ambiance.

Depending on the market, the new generation sees the introduction of adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, and wide-vision xenon headlights to the Outlander range.

Dual-zone climate control and split-fold third-row seats will also be added to the upgraded cabin, which Mitsubishi says is now quieter thanks to NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) improvements. All rear seats now fold completely flat, creating a load space that is 335mm longer than that of the second-generation model.

Australian pricing and specification details of the new Mitsubishi Outlander will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s December launch.




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