Exclusive only for China and Taiwan, the soon to be launched Mitsubishi Grand Lancer is an all-new Lancer developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s Taiwanese partner China Motor Corporation. It is based on a heavily reworked platform of the outgoing generation Lancer.
Under the hood is an all-new 4J series MIVEC engine, replacing the outgoing generation’s 4B series MIVEC engine.
Full specifications have to be announced but preliminary information from Taiwanese websites suggests that it will only be available in 1.8-litre capacity, paired to a CVT-type automatic transmission driving the front wheels.
Inside, the dashboard has been redesigned and the instrument cluster now features a full-colour full-LCD display screen, one that’s not too different from the Volkswagen Passat’s Active Info Display.
As for safety, there are only two airbags but it does come with electronic stability and traction control.
This is not the first time China Motors Corporation have developed its own Lancer model. The outgoing generation Lancer sold in Taiwan had two versions, both developed by CMC with exterior styling that are exclusive to Taiwan – the Lancer Fortis (top) and the Lancer iO (bottom).
For now, the all-new 2017 Mitsubishi Grand Lancer will remain as a Chinese market-only (including Taiwan and maybe Hong Kong and Macau) model, and is unlikely to be introduced elsewhere.
The Lancer hasn’t been a strong seller worldwide but Taiwan is one of the few bright spots where Mitsubishi Motors have been very strong.
Mitsubishi Motors have previously said that the outgoing generation Lancer will be discontinued this year, and that there are no plans to replace it. The model has since been dropped from Mitsubishi Motors’s model line-up in Japan but it’s still on-sale in ASEAN, including Malaysia.
Several years ago, there were reports of Mou signed between Mitsubishi Motors and Renault to explore potential tie-ups for a C-segment sedan, but that agreement have since been lapsed.
With Mitsubishi Motors now becoming a subsidiary of Nissan and therefore, part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, there is a possibility of reviving that discussion but chances are slim, as Nissan have made it very clear that Mitsubishi’s forte is in plug-in hybrid technology and 4x4 vehicles. To produce yet another C-segment sedan in a diminishing market where the Nissan Sylphy and Renault Fluence are already struggling won’t make much sense.