Described as “a declaration of intent for Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s future direction”, the compact, five-door crossover appears to be an evolution of the XR-PHEV concept that debuted more than 12 months ago at the 2013 Tokyo motor show.
Details of the new concept are thin, though Mitsubishi has revealed it combines the company’s “next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology and bold new design direction within a powerful and dynamic compact SUV format”.
The car maker claims the concept has been designed to achieve “best-in-class CO2 emissions performance” thanks to its PHEV powertrain with a high-output electric motor.
The original Mitsubishi XR-PHEV concept teamed a 100kW 1.1-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a 121kW electric motor and a 14kWh lithium-ion battery, and could operate in pure EV mode, as well as parallel and series hybrid modes.
The new compact SUV concept will provide pointers to the design of the new ASX that’s due to be released in the near future.
The current ASX (also called RVR and Outlander Sport in overseas markets) has been on sale since the beginning of 2010, and it’s nearing the end of its lifecycle.
The new model will emerge as part of Mitsubishi’s ‘New Stage 2016’ business plan that runs until March 2017, from which has already sprung the new Triton ute, and which also includes plans for new Challenger and Pajero SUVs.
The ASX is a hugely important model for Mitsubishi Australia. It became the brand’s second-highest seller last year with 10,404 sales (up 34.7 per cent over 2013), pipping the Lancer and trailing only the Triton.