Mitsubishi is doing great on a few fronts, and simply keeping its head above water on other fronts.
In the realm of PHEV and battery-electric vehicles, the firm is on a great trajectory. The iMiEV has been a pretty large global seller over the last five years by EV standards, and the new Outlander is fully prepped for a PHEV drivetrain that is already on sale in Japan and the UK, along with a few other markets.
The SUV and pickup truck model ranges are still relatively robust sellers, with modern diesel engines and a butch appeal in their style.
But core competencies of Mitsubishi seem to be falling by the wayside more and more as the decade rolls onward. The Outlander Sport and Outlander are relatively strong players in their segments, but the Mirage has been almost universally panned since its US launch. It is a crude machine versus the Mazda2 – that is beyond doubt.
Additionally, the Lancer Evolution is everyone’s favorite rally weapon for actual racetracks — but is growing very, very stale in the style, tech and cabin comfort tallies versus the latest wide WRX models.
All of this is acceptable with some exciting metal on the horizon, one would think.
Until Mitsubishi lifted the covers off this trio of … unique… vehicles in Geneva, Beijing and Tokyo — that is. Will this be the design worn by the next Lancer and Evo? Eek.
The latest design trend is also seen in the Mitsubishi Vision Gran Turismo Concept — which can be thought of as something like an Outlander Sport ‘Evolution.’
This GT6 racer concept is based on the XR-PHEV — by far the best of the bunch, style-wise.
2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
As a giant industrial innovator, like GE or Samsung, Mitsubishi has the resources to hire and achieve the best. And be happy with its niche markets.
The worry is that all this new tech is paired with lousy cabins and bizarre exterior designs.
Time will tell how Mitsubishi develops these designs for production. But on the face of these concepts, things are not looking pretty.
Lastly, the names of these cars are by far their worst bits — even beyond their hideous facial expressions.
2014 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV
2014 Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV
2014 Mitsubishi Concept AR-PHEV