Renault Nissan-Mitsubishi conference promotes new model

Mitsubishi Motors — Courtesy: Shutterstock — JHVEPhoto

Mitsubishi Motors has been hyping up the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, but a lot of people are still wondering what happened to the C-D segment vehicle that was set to release. Back in 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance claimed that Mitsubishi would be the first automaker to release a brand-new vehicle to the automotive market. Dubbing it a “Follow the Leader” strategy, it only seems backward now that Mitsubishi is scheduled to release rebadged Renault models in an attempt to expand its lineup. Only, the new rebadge is set to be the next generation of a model already in its lineup—the Outlander Sport. So what’s going on?

Here’s a little recap. In March 2021, Mitsubishi Motors had plans to pull all models from the European market and focus on other regions. Before losing that foothold, Renault came into the game the other way and agreed to work with Mitsubishi to build all-new models inspired by two existing Renault models. Flash forward to a recent conference by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Mitsubishi will be rebadging Renault models to stay within the European market. However, it’s more than that.

The Outlander Sport hasn’t had a new generation since the third generation came out twelve years ago in 2010. Since then, it has had three facelifts to give it some spark, but wasn’t much different from the Outlander, and has lost competition to the Eclipse Cross. Now, it’s time for a makeover. Building the vehicle on an existing Renault platform will make great use of its shared resources, and with Mitsubishi Motors extra focused on electric vehicle development, one of the vehicles has the chance of being an electric model. During the conference, we expect to see a Renault Captur with a three-diamond logo, but if the tease was anything to follow, there will be many more changes. This definitely looks like a new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

Another car is in the works, said to be an electric model. Whether that means it is a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle is anyone’s guess. We already know that Mitsubishi plans to replace the Outlander as a classic icon for the brand with the upcoming Eclipse Cross PHEV. During the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, Mitsubishi also hinted at its new “Ralliart Concept.” There wasn’t a lot of detail, but it is looking like a new sports car for the brand, equipped with six-piston brake calipers for extra stopping power, large brake rotors, 22-inch wheels with even bigger tires, wide fenders on the front and rear for a more rugged look, unique front and rear bumpers, a new front grille, and a large rear diffuser. This might be the automaker’s way of putting performance into electric vehicles (EVs).

There were two other concepts at the show, including the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in Ralliart Style. When Ralliart first returned, many people thought that meant the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution would come back as well. Instead, Ralliart will serve as an auto parts supplier for increased performance and style choices for personalization. In terms of appearance packages, both models came with new parts and red accents, plus new back and white stickers and badges. When it comes to what the Ralliart group can do for a vehicle, the Outlander PHEV was transformed to the “Outlander Wild Adventure Style,” fitted with all-terrain tires, mudguards, bumper protectors, a roof carrier, and a trailer hitch.

The two new models won’t go on sale until 2023, but we’re curious what else the automaker has up its sleeve. Follow along with us on University Mitsubishi social media to learn more.

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