The new-look 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander gives a lot away about what to expect from the Japanese brand in terms of the way it will design its cars from this point forward.
“I think Mitsubishi – we said the new design concept of the front design is a ‘dynamic shield’, but this is a concept,” he said.
He indicated the identity of the brand’s cars will be clear from a distance, but they won’t all be exactly the same.
“Our design, of course, clearly what is a Mitsubishi? But I think it’s not only one front face. We have some diversity of a front face,” Kunimoto said.
“But it will be clearly integrated, one direction Mitsubishi front design – based on the Mitsubishi brand but also history.”
“Mitsubishi has a past, this present, and the future. So we have a responsibility all things. Also front face – I’m very pleased to keep our history and create the new things based on our history and heritage,” Kunimoto said.
The brand has stated in the past that SUVs and utes are the way the business is heading, with a strong focus on heavy duty vehicles rather than passenger models.
“We are studying, still, you know we are studying,” was all Kunimoto would say about a replacement for the Lancer small car.
“A very important pillar is SUV. And we have a good technology and history, yes,” he said.
“I would like to develop the same concept as Mitsubishi-ness.”
There was little said about the brand’s crucial new ASX, which was presaged by the XR-PHEV II concept revealed at the 2015 Geneva motor show in March.
“ASX – maybe I think we showed only at the Geneva auto show a compact SUV. So please think about it,” Kunimoto said, before refusing to offer any guidance on timing for the new model.
That new ASX is touted as potentially offering the brand a platform for the next-generation Evolution hot-hatch. But Kunimoto wouldn’t be drawn to make any statements on such a plan.
“I think in this moment, I would like to introduce just our new design direction,” he said. “Maybe later I would like to introduce several things. But I would keep the Mitsubishi-ness, or establish the Mitsubishi identity from a design view point.”