- New exterior and interior styling highlight changes.
- Mitsubishi says a plug-in hybrid is on its way.
- Except the new Outlander stateside in the fall.
Mitsubishi officially revealed the first images of its upcoming 2013 Outlander ahead of the crossover's debut at next month's Geneva Auto Show. Featuring new styling and larger dimensions than its predecessor, the third-generation Outlander is expected to go on sale in late 2012.
On the outside, the updated Outlander includes several new lines derived from the automaker's PX-MiEV II Concept, which was released last year at the Tokyo Auto Show. In front, the Outlander features a new grille and a revised front bumper with pronounced character lines that lead to distinctive creases down either side. Rear styling is highlighted by clean lines and unique clear tail lights, which were first shown on the PX-MiEV II.
Inside, crossover buyers will find the 2013 Outlander is offered with a host of technologically advanced new features more commonly found on upscale luxury cars. Such items include a forward collision management system, which detects obstacles and automatically applies the brakes to avoid a collision; adaptive cruise control, which maintains a safe following distance from other vehicles; and a lane departure warning system that alerts the driver if the Outlander begins to drift from its lane.
The interior is also finished with several upscale materials that utilize glossy black highlights, soft touch dashboard surfaces and switches decorated with silver accents. Other available items include a power operated tailgate and third-row seating, which can be fully stowed to provide a completely flat cargo floor.
Although Mitsubishi didn't announce powertrain details for US models of the 2013 Outlander, the automaker did promise that an EV-based version featuring a plug-in hybrid drivetrain will debut sometime in the next year. We expect gasoline-powered Outanders to retain today's powerplants, which include a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder in ES and SE models and a 230-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 in the upscale Outlander Sport.
Mitsubishi also hasn't announced pricing for the 2013 Outlander, though we expect only a slight boost from today's $23,000 base price despite the new design. For more information and further photos of the newest Mitsubishi, stay tuned for our upcoming coverage of the Geneva Auto Show, where we'll be on hand to provide the latest details.
What it means to you: Although Mitsubishi has historically struggled in this segment, a plug-in model could help the brand gain instant momentum among buyers.