Mitsubishi uses the alliance with Nissan and Renault to quickly expand its portfolio. But it will still take some time until the purely electric car.
It's been less than three years since Mitsubishi no longer wanted to develop new models for Europe. The decision was tantamount to the brand's slow departure from the old world. Main reason: too high development costs, especially in terms of crash and emission regulations concerned.
Instead wanted Japanese Eldest carmaker as part of its alliance with Nissan and Renault focus more on Asia and the USA. It turned out differently. Werner Frey, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Germany, simply calls this rethinking process "revitalization". Among other things, she had initiated the Eclipse Cross as a plug-in hybrid. The compact SUV coupé was almost fully developed for Europe, and demand was good. "Backing out would have been anything but sensible from an economic point of view," remembers Werner Frey. Last year alone, almost 19.000 customers in Germany opted for the Eclipse Cross, which takes second place in the ranking of all those offered on the German market Plug-in hybrid models.
But only with an SUV coupé and a second model, the small car Spacestar, the revitalization strategy is unlikely to work. Especially since Mitsubishi 2021 will be both its flagship Outlander as well as the small SUV ASX removed from the program. The task now was to close this gap as quickly as possible. Since an in-house development was out of the question (too expensive, too time-consuming), the sister company Renault was used and the “Badge Engineering” solution was chosen. The basis for the new ASX is thus the Renault Captur. A good decision, the city SUV from the French has modern drives, has a pleasing design and is not without reason the European bestseller in its class (B segment). In addition, with the ASX, Mitsubishi can for the first time have a model with a Full hybrid drive offer, which Mitsubishi Europe boss Frank Krol sees as the best-selling within the series.
The Japanese are already planning their second Renault sister model, the Colt, for the fall. It's based on that Clio, but should have significantly more visual differences than the ASX does compared to the Captur.
Mitsubishi would have doubled its range of models compared to last year. And there is already a number five for the portfolio. Germany boss Werner Frey hopes for the next one in 2024 Generation of the Outlander to be able to sell. The predecessor was one of the best-selling plug-in hybrids worldwide. The new Outlander has long been on the market in the USA, has grown by four centimeters in length and five in width, with a massive front and robust appearance. There is also a new, fully digitized one inside Cockpit with head-up display and large touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. In Germany, the up to seven-seater SUV will only be offered in an electrified version. A 2,4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine plus two electric motors provide propulsion. The battery capacity should enable a range of 61 kilometers.
Mitsubishi currently leaves the question of one unanswered fully electric Model. After all, the Japanese were a kind of pioneer with the small i-MiEV more than ten years ago. In addition, a fully developed platform (CMF-EV) is available in the alliance. They already use Renault Mégane and Nissan Ariya. It is one size smaller under the electric Renault 5, which will be launched in 2024. It would be easy for Mitsubishi to derive a derivative in the B or C segment for itself by 2025 at the latest - and this without the path of "badge engineering".