The new Mitsubishi Outlander has been revealed ahead of its 2012 Geneva motor show debut next month, confirming the look of the third iteration of the SUV that will include a plug-in hybrid variant and a more fuel efficient range overall.
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Mitsubishi Australia will import the new Outlander towards the end of the year, and will add the petrol-electric model when it becomes available in mid 2013.

As expected, the production version of the new Outlander remains faithful to the PX-MiEV II concept from last year's Tokyo motor show.

The single official image released by Mitsubishi shows the Outlander adopting the concept's narrow, VW-esque grille that conjoins with the reprofiled headlights and in turn replacing the more aggressive, Lancer Evolution-inspired grille of its predecessor.

The outgoing Outlander's distinctive backwards-leaning rear side glass, however, makes way for a more convention DLO (daylight opening).

In addition to the plug-in hybrid version that is reported to produce CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km, Mitsubishi says a choice of (revised and improved) petrol and diesel engines will also put the Outlander among the leading SUVs in terms of fuel economy and emissions.

The petrol engine is a 2.0-litre 'Mivec' four-cylinder while the diesel is a 2.2-litre turbocharged unit mated to a six-speed manual and powers the front wheels.

Two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive versions will be offered again, though, and a new six-speed auto will be in the mix.

The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid will be an AWD model, employing an electric motor on both the front and rear axles. If efficiency matches the results of the PX-MiEV that previewed the hybrid system, fuel economy will be as low as 1.7 litres per 100km.

Mitsubishi Australia is expected to snub the diesel to focus on the hybrid as its fuel economy and environmentally friendly champion of the Outlander range.

Mitsubishi hasn't released any pictures of the new Outlander's interior but says there will be improved quality and ergonomics, including a soft-touch dashboard and higher-resolution, easier-to-read instruments.

The cabin will include a third row of seating again, with the promise of a flat cargo floor when the second and third row seats are folded down.

An electric tailgate will also be offered.

New safety technologies for the Outlander will include adaptive cruise that also works in heavy traffic, an automatic braking system to help avoid collisions, and a lane departure warning system.