UPDATE, 15 February 2021: The new Mitsubishi Outlander has been spotted undisguised again, just days prior to its full reveal on Wednesday, 17 February.
Images posted by @kurdistan_automotive_blog on Instagram show a handful of examples of the new SUV on the back of a transport truck in Japan, showcasing its Engelberg Tourer-inspired styling.
Our original story continues below.
Click any of the images to view the full gallery.
UPDATE, 9 February 2021: Mitsubishi has confirmed the new Outlander will launch in Australia by the end of 2021.
In a teaser announcing the first examples of the new Outlander have been built and are on their way to the United States (where the car will launch first), the brand confirmed the new SUV will go on sale in Australia "later this year", though more specific timing has yet to be announced.
Click here to watch the Outlander's live-streamed reveal event, scheduled for 17 February 2021 at 10am AEDT (9am QLD time).
UPDATE, 26 January 2021: The new Mitsubishi Outlander has been teased again, ahead of its reveal next month.
The latest teaser highlights the new Outlander's off-road capabilities, showing the overhauled SUV getting sideways and climbing steep hills over dirt, snow, gravel and mud, thanks to its Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system.
"We took everything we know about on- and off-road driving from the rally experiences to apply the latest Super-All Wheel Control technology in our newly developed platform", said Kentaro Honda, Outlander project chief engineer.
"We also specifically developed a new drive mode selector to provide confident driving at all times and in all weather conditions. We hope that many customers will have great experiences with the enhanced driving performance of the all-new Outlander."
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander will be unveiled in full on 17 February at 10am AEDT.
UPDATE, December 11, 2020: Hot on the heels of leaked images of the upcoming SUV hitting social media, Mitsubishi has released an official teaser image of the upcoming Outlander.
The sole, poorly-lit image released by the Japanese brand hints towards the new Outlander's overhauled exterior design leaked earlier this week – see our full story below – with an upright, contemporary shape heavily influenced by the Engelberg Tourer concept of 2019.
Mitsubishi has confirmed the 2021 Outlander will make its public debut via a livestream event in February 2021, with further details to be released in the new year.
December 9, 2020: The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has been revealed ahead of schedule, with leaked images of the vehicle emerging online.
The new Outlander looks to share the bulk of its design with Mitsubishi's Engelberg Tourer – a concept first shown in March 2019 – and carries the brand's current design language, showcasing slim headlights and pointed front facia.
It's expected the vehicle will share its underpinnings with the upcoming Nissan X-Trail, thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. While no details have been confirmed, these spy shots reveal an uncanny resemblance to the Nissan SUV at the vehicle's D-pillar.
According to a report from website CarBuzz in October 2019, a filing with the US National Highway Transport Safety Administration shows the new Outlander will be powered by the X-Trail's 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, producing 135kW and 245Nm in its American tuning.
A plug-in hybrid model, known as the Outlander PHEV, is almost certainly on the cards, proving a popular option for buyers in recent years wanting an electrified powertrain with the convenience of an SUV body.
The current Outlander PHEV uses a 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder mated to two electric motors mounted on each axle, with 60kW at the front and 70kW at the rear, and powered by a 13.8kWh battery pack.
Mitsubishi launched a sporty Outlander PHEV GSR recently – the GSR badge being a nod to turbocharged Mitsubishi models of a bygone era – suggesting the company was dipping its toe in the electrified performance SUV segment.
At the international launch of the Eclipse Cross PHEV last week, Mitsubishi design boss Seiji Watanabe suggested an electrified high-performance SUV could be on the horizon.
"I feel Mitsubishi, in the future, want to push with more performance design," Mr Watanabe said at the time.
"This is just a personal opinion – I can't say the details of the future – but, for me, one of our strongest [ideas] is wonderful performance."
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is expected to be unveiled early in the new year, with the model to be available from the third quarter.