Come April, during the 2015 New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi will be previewing a refreshed version of its mid-size SUV, the Outlander. Most interestingly, Mitsubishi say that the SUV will preview a new design language that will kick-start a new “global brand identity” for the company.
*image: Current US-Spec Outlander
A report by motoring.com.au quoted Mitsubishi Motors North America’s vice president, Don Swearingen, to say that all of the brand’s 2016 models will receive design updates in line with the new brand identity, and it all starts with the coming Outlander.
While Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia doesn’t officially sell the Outlander here in Malaysia, what the facelifted Outlander will do for us is give us a glimpse to what future MMM cars will at least look like in the longer term.
Australia’s Motoring suggests that we can look forward to a much more aggressive design overall, with sharper lines adorned across – based on spyshots that the website has managed to obtain. They’re also expecting that their local market may get the Outlander facelift as soon as the second quarter of this year.
In Malaysia, we have privately seen the Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid) in Mitsubishi Motor Malaysia’s offices, and it’s no secret that the company has been testing it here in the country with hopes of one day setting it loose in our market. Local assembly of the vehicle was also a much talked about subject.
However, given the upcoming expiration of the current auto policy (31st Dec, 2015) and its special excise duty exemptions for locally-assembled hybrids, MMM may run out of time to make any of this happen. Unless of course the next National Automotive Policy allows for a similar arrangement to what we have now that makes CKD hybrid vehicles more affordable.