Mitsubishi has done well, they have released so much information regarding the new Outlander that they have put other car companies to shame when it comes to product launch information. Of all the information released, there were a few pieces that I thought were interesting. The product concept for the new 2007 ZG Outlander caught my eye!
Mitsubishi says that the new ZG Outlander has been developed to embody the “New generation recreational vehicle“, which is delivered through:
The major features that distinguish the new Outlander are:
Outlander’s distinguishing features include a new-generation platform which underpins better crashworthiness and greater rigidity, a high power and highly fuel efficient aluminium cylinder block 2.4-litre MIVEC engine, a ‘Sports Mode’ 6-speed CVT as well as a traditional 6-speed ‘Sports Mode’ automatic transmission, and Active Select 4WD – an electronically controlled 4WD system. The new model also uses an aluminium roof panel, mono-tube rear shock absorbers, and other advanced technology proven on Lancer Evolution – Mitsubishi Motors’ iconic sport sedan – to surpass traditional off-road SUVs, and deliver superior on-road performance. Outlander also features major improvements in interior comfort and utility for convenience, including a 7-seat model with underfloor-stowed occasional-use seats for two extra passengers.
In developing Outlander’s styling, Mitsubishi’s development team were searching for a design that would do away with meaningless devices: a gimmick-free design that would age gracefully, tailored for the discerning owner and one he/she would never tire of, however we all know such a design is impossible, but Mitsubishi tried really hard.
Clearly inspired by the 2002 Pajero Evo 2+2 concept up to the A-pillars and windshield, ZG Outlander’s front design blends into the muscular fenders with flared wheelarches and sharp lines, leaving no doubt about its dynamic abilities.
Its exterior creates the sense of adventure of a larger SUV, while the smoothly styled lines give an air of a slightly raised mid-sized sporty wagon. The integration of the two styles offers customers a recognisably sporty look, while being practical and stylish in both rural and urban settings.
The following design elements abound:
The purposeful design sits on a rock-firm stance generated by the wide tracks and large diameter 18-inch wheels and tyres, while the sculptured fender flares embrace the wheels and combine with the front undercover to add SUV-defining toughness.
At the back, the backlight wraps around into the sides, softening the upright tailgate lines and accenting the forward movement of the silhouette. One of many noticeable features, Outlander uses a split tailgate that boasts high utility. The lower section is integral with an oversized bumper, imparting a sportier dash to the rear end and giving it the light, rhythmic appearance of an awning. Visually appearing to be part of the rear window, the LED rear combination lamps – already used with Grandis – lend a futuristic and hi-tech accent to the rear view.
While halogen headlamps are standard on all models, the VRX has the option of high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps in the Luxury option pack, delivering improved clarity for night driving. Fog lamps integrated into the front bumper are standard on XLS and VRX models.
The headlamps feature a levelling device which is manually operated on the halogen headlamps, while they operate automatically on VRX Luxury option pack. The device ensures that even under heavy loads on low beam, the headlamps are directed to the correct position on the road, improving the driver’s vision and not distracting other motorists.
Outlander uses a split tailgate to maximize the benefits of the low-floor luggage compartment and to give better access to the luggage compartment. The lower section opens at 600 mm above the ground, thereby allowing bulky items to be loaded and unloaded with ease. Splitting the tailgate means that the regularly used upper section is light and compact, thereby enhancing ease of use.
The radio antenna is a bee-sting type, mounted in the middle of the roof at the rear of the wagon.
The stylish, sporty and highly functional feel continues to the interior of Outlander. The dash is a clean, uncluttered space comprising all the necessary features. The centre console houses easy-to-use dials that control the air conditioning, which is also ducted to the second row passengers.
A custom designed Rockford Fosgate in-car audio entertainment system is standard in the VRX. The system features a 650 watt amplifier with 6-CD stacker and is configured with nine speakers, including a 25cm subwoofer housed in the left rear quarter panel. The XLS and VR have a standard 6-CD stacker with six speakers, while the base model LS has the standard single CD AM/ FM audio system with a six speaker configuration. All audio units are MP3 compatible and speakers on all models are specially encased for premium quality sound.
The instrument panel, which illuminates red when the lights are on, has an LCD multi-information display flanked by two clear gauges, a speedometer and tachometer. An information button on the right-hand side of the steering column allows drivers to access the display, which gives the driver a range of information including the transmission position, fuel volume and consumption, trip distance and average speed. A push- button rheostat on the side of the tachometer allows the driver to dim or brighten the display panel lighting.
The cabin area has a multitude of storage areas and cupholders throughout – in the front and rear doors, in the dash area, and a lidded centre console between the front two seats. Other convenience features include vanity mirrors and a dash mounted thermo-box in VR and VRX which is ducted from the air conditioning for keeping food and drinks cool in summer or warm in winter. Cupholders are on the driver’s side of the instrument panel and in the rear trim, while all four doors have bottle holders.
The LS has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake lever and gearshift knob, with the audio controls and cruise control functions mounted in the steering wheel. Additionally, the XLS, VR and VRX have steering wheel mounted paddle shift controls for up, and down-shifting.
The all-new Outlander comes with power steering, power windows, air conditioning (manual on LS and VR, and automatic climate control on XLS and VRX) and cruise control as standard across the range.
It has semi-bucket seats with a high hip point in the front, and these give the front passengers good visibility, and the perception of riding in a larger SUV. The seat fabric on LS, XLS and VR models is hard-wearing but modern fabric, while the top-of-the-line VRX has the option of a sporty black leather interior trim when the Luxury option pack is selected. The driver’s seat in the VRX is a four-way electric adjustable seat.
The second row seat is a 60:40 split with separate squab cushions, and each side slides (80mm), reclines and tumbles independently. The sliding action of this seat gives passengers up to 875mm of leg space. The simple action of holding a button on either side of the rear quarter panel lining will cause the headrest for that second row seat to retract, the seat back to fold down, the seat to slide forward and the whole assembly to tumble forward, thereby giving very flexible cargo configurations. For safety reasons, this feature does not operate unless a rear door or the tailgate is open. The seats can be tumbled forward manually using the recline lever at the side of the seat.
When the second row seat is in the upright position, the volume of Outlander’s luggage space is 1119 litres; once the seats are folded forward the space almost doubles to an impressive 2056 litres. Access to the luggage compartment is made easy with the addition of a split tail-gate. The top of the gate opens upward to give quick access to luggage, while for larger, heavier items the lower portion of the tail gate lowers to floor level, maximising the luggage accessibility.
However, an occasional third row seat option is also available on all models, and when these seats are optioned they stow under the cargo floor when not in use.The tail gate can hold loads of up to 200kg, making it ideal as a seat, or for loading heavier items.
The ceiling material absorbs odours and breaks them down removing unwanted smells while a clean air filter is fitted on the air conditioner to ensure dust and pollen remain outside the cabin area as much as possible. Privacy glass on all but the front windows on XLS, VR and VRX cuts out intense sunshine, keeping the car cooler, and also keeps occupants and luggage from prying eyes.