To many automotive observers, the outward-looking, jacked-up hatchback segment seems to be snowballing in momentum. It all started with Nissan’s quirky-looking Juke back in 2010 and today we have Toyota’s edgy C-HR, Mazda’s rakish CX-3 and more. Now, Mitsubishi wants to get on the act with a more angular, all-new Outlander Sport, also known as the ASX in markets outside North America.
So let’s delve further into Mitsubishi’s upcoming CUV and illustratively look at what we can expect.
For starters, Mitsubishi plans to resize and reposition the next generation of the Outlander Sport in the subcompact crossover segment, as it is developing another, larger SUV to sit above it and below the regular Outlander.
As such, aside from the funky-looking Nissan Juke, Toyota C-HR, Citroen C4 Cactus and Mazda CX3, the Outlander Sport / ASX will also go toe to toe with more conventional rivals like the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore.
XR-PHEV Inspired Looks:
Back in 2013, the Japanese carmaker revealed the XR-PHEV concept at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, not only to preview Mitsubishi’s new corporate look, but also the next Outlander Sport / ASX.
But how has that concept translated into reality? Well, the sleek XR-PHEV has morph into a stubbier, high-riding hatch. However it will retain the study’s chiseled door scallops, fenders and Mitsubishi’s corporate ‘Dynamic-Shield’ fascia.
The rear will offer a split-window hatch opening, similar to Honda’s new Civic hatch and the Toyota C-HR. The taillights horizontally stretch over this glass divide to emphasize width, whilst the red reflector/fog lamps have been relocated within the rear bumper.
Cabin styling is expected to be more modern than anything in Mitsubishi’s current range with a sports-inspired design complimenting its exterior, whilst seating capacity will remain limited to five passengers.
In show car guise, the XR-PHEV was powered by a petrol-electric plug-in powertrain; combining a 120kW electric motor and 100kW 1.1-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder engine. To store energy for the electric motor, a 14kWh battery pack was also used.
Will this setup appear in the production version? It is possible, given Mitsubishi’s recent foray into other hybrid and electric passenger cars. What is more likely, however, is small-capacity turbocharged petrol and diesels; these will channel power to the front wheels or via an optional AWD system. North America is rumored to get a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline four.
It’s unknown when the ASX will make an official appearance, but we expect a reveal next year, possibly as a 2018 model.
So, what are your thoughts on the ASX’s radical new look? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes