Mitsubishi is ditching its ‘family face’ styling strategy, aiming to give next-generation models their own unique characters.
The rejection of the four-point trapezoidal grille, mirrored between the current Lancer (above) and ASX, and outgoing Outlander, comes as Mitsubishi admits the styling may have been too aggressive for some tastes.
“What we try to do is maintain a certain level of the brand identity, but the styling should be [specific] to the vehicle,” claimed Mitsubishi senior executive of sales, Juyu Jeon.
“A good example would be new Mirage and new Outlander. Do they have the same face?
"It means we want to have certain brand identity with a broad face, a combination of trapazoidal [elements], those kind of carry over. It doesn’t mean it should be the same ‘face’ for the new Mirage and new Outlander.
"We’re not going to say it will be totally different. It used to be totally the same or similar, however the extent might be slightly changed.
“Female customers might say that the [current] trapezoidal grille is too aggressive.”
Mitsubishi has deliberately ‘softened’ the exterior styling of the third-generation Outlander (above), and this will become a theme for next-generation models, like the new Lancer, due in 2014.
Mitsubishi product manager James Tol expects the Outlander's styling to be more “universally appealing”.
He also claims that although the new Outlander will hint at the styling direction of future products, there are commonalities with existing Mitsubishis.
“I see a lot of things on Outlander that I see on a lot of other Mitsubishi products. If you look at the bumper cut lines, you see a bit of the Pajero, you see a bit of the Challenger.
“[But] it’s moving towards softer [styling]. We’re softening a bit.
“I think you’ll start to see more of what you see in the Outlander in future models.”