Mitsubishi SUV concept will be among three show cars to be unveiled in Tokyo next month
Is Mitsubishi being inspired by Lexus?
We're not sure about that, but all we know is that Mitsubishi intends to show three new concept cars at next month's Tokyo motor show, all sharing a new design language.
But we know what you're getting at. There seem to be some similarities in the way these Mitsus have faces looking like those on Lexus cars with a spindle-like grille, if not exactly the same.
The concept spree kicks off with the AR (Active Runabout), followed by the XR-PHEV (Cross over Runner) and GC-PHEV (Grand Cruiser).
Is the GC previewing the next Pajero?
Yes, the iconic off-roader that has now earned the full-size SUV status for Mitsubishi's flagship. Note how the GC's profile has evolved from today's Pajero, now in its seventh year of production.
Since big-bore motors are now out of vogue (except for in the US and Middle East), the GC comes with a plug-in hybrid system which Mitsubishi already sells in the Outlander SUV in Europe and Japan.
Other highlights of the GC include S-AWC (super all-wheel control), a host of driver support systems and advanced safety features, and wireless connectivity for occupants.
While most other carmakers are trying to consolidate their model line-ups, Mitsubishi is apparently still happy in wanting to offer three seven-seat SUVs: Pajero, Pajero Sport and Outlander, none of which have ever been closely related in platform technologies.
Tch! And what exactly is the XR?
Mitsubishi says it is a compact SUV with a sporty look also coming with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.We can only guess that Mitsubishi may want to spin off a coupe-shaped SUV from the Outlander, which stresses functionality instead.
This formula has proven successful with BMW in which the sporty X6 is derived from the family-orientated X5. The same will happen soon with the smaller X4 made from the X3.
Got that. Is the AR reviving the Space Runner?
There's a distinct possibility because Mitsubishi says the AR is a compact MPV in essence that combines the mobility of an SUV and the interior space of an MPV.
Don't confuse it as a possible replacement for the discontinued Space Wagon which is a mid-sized seven-seat MPV that Mitsubishi finds less interesting than its array of seven-seat SUVs.
However, there will be a new development showcased in the AR _ a downsized petrol engine featuring direct-injection and turbo tech.
Mitsubishi’s lifestyle future previewed in the XR, GC and AR.