The latest Outlander
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has revealed its new Outlander. It says the flagship SUV is ‘reimagined and reinvented in every way’ and gears up for sale in North America (the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico) in April 2021, with other markets to follow.
In a sign of the times, the latest Outlander made its debut on Amazon Live, making it the first automobile to be launched on the platform.
Longer and wider than the old model, the fourth generation is based on a Renault-Nissan Alliance architecture.
“Based on the product concept ‘I-Fu-Do-Do’, which means authentic and majestic in Japanese, the all-new Outlander has been crafted into a reliable SUV with significantly upgraded styling, road performance, and a high-quality feel to satisfy the needs of customers who want to expand their horizons and take on challenges of every kind,” said Takao Kato, chief executive officer of MMC. “With the launch of the all-new Outlander, we will first expand our sales in the North American market and then aim for global growth.”
The new Outlander is the fourth generation of the series. MMC says styling emphasizes its powerful sense of presence with the next generation ‘Dynamic Shield’ front face, large diameter 20-inch wheels, fenders and bold proportions. Newly developed platform and 2.5L engine, updated electronically-controlled 4WD and S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) system, and newly developed drive mode selector all contribute to the safe and secure road performance. The cabin space features an enhanced feeling of quality and convenience through a high-quality interior, comfortable three-row seven seats, liquid crystal meter displays, and a new wireless smartphone charging function.
In North America, the Outlander was launched in 2002 as Mitsubishi Motors’ first crossover SUV. Through three generations, it has been highly recognized for its utility and road performance as an SUV, as well as its eco-friendliness and economy. Globally, the total sales volume of the Outlander series has reached 2.6 million units.
The design concept of the all-new Outlander is described as “Bold Stride”, representing a bold, adventurous attitude and confidence to move forward.
MMC says the newly developed platform greatly improves collision safety performance and achieves a high level of steering stability. For the first time Mitsubishi Motors has used an ultra-high tensile strength steel sheet with hot stamping around the cabin to create a high-strength cabin structure with little deformation while also achieving weight reduction. Adopting connected cyclic structures around the engine compartment and cabin increased flexural and torsional rigidity of the body over that of the previous model. The multi-link suspension and dual pinion electric power steering achieve high-quality ride comfort while also providing operability with a direct, linear feel. This greatly improves traceability during cornering as well as linear stability and provides driving pleasure.
The newly developed 2.5L gasoline engine improves maximum output by 8.9 percent and fuel efficiency (WLTC mode) by 2.6 percent over the previous model. Torqueful and powerful at low to medium rpm but smooth and easy-to-handle at high rpm means the driver can enjoy pleasant city trips to fun sporty driving. An 8-speed sport mode CVT is used for the transmission. The step shift control that changes speeds crisply like a multistage automatic transmission is employed for acceleration, and a powerful and agile acceleration can be felt when pressing down on the accelerator. When cruising, the driver can enjoy a quiet and smooth driving.
For the 4WD model, electronically-controlled 4WD incorporating a hydraulic clutch driven by an electric motor is used in the center coupling device that conducts front and rear torque distribution. The front and rear wheels can be strongly restrained from when the vehicle is stopped, so the rear wheel drive force is generated at the moment of start off to provide a powerful sensation befitting a 4WD. This in particular generates power under severe conditions, such as starting off uphill on frozen roads.
The 4WD model is equipped with an improved S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system. The Brake AYC (Active Yaw Control) is adopted on the rear wheels as well, making it possible to provide front and rear wheel distributed control. Sensors detect the steering angle, yaw rate, driving torque, brake pressure, wheel speed, and other factors to continuously and correctly identify driver operation and vehicle status. When turning, the Brake AYC optimizes the difference in drive force and braking force among the front and rear, right and left wheels to improve tire gripping ability to allow the driver to steer as desired. In the 2WD model, Brake AYC for front and rear wheel distributed control was also employed to achieve integrated control with ASC (Active Stability Control) and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) to maintain driving stability on a variety of road surfaces.
The all-new Outlander is equipped with drive modes that allow the driver to select the vehicle driving characteristics that are optimal for a variety of operation styles and driving situations. There are six modes for 4WD models and five modes for 2WD models. The mode selector in the center console can be used to select the drive mode for choosing the road situation and Eco mode for choosing the operation style. The settings for the drive mode are Normal for normal driving, Tarmac for sporty driving on paved roads, Gravel for high traction performance and stability on unpaved roads, Snow for snowy and other slippery roads, and Mud to increase the road handling ability on muddy roads, in deep snow and similar conditions. The drive modes bring out the high road handling of 4WD models and also increase the potential of 2WD models to provide a sense of security and reliability while driving. When a mode is selected, an image representing the driving situation is displayed in the meter to allow the driver to intuitively select a mode.
MMC also says the Outlander is a family SUV that offers three-row, seven seats, which is unique in its class. The seats can be flexibly arranged with multiple configurations to suit the number of passengers and their luggage. The second-row seats have a sliding and reclining function, as well as a 4:2:4 split division, allowing two adult passengers to comfortably sit in the second row even when carrying long items such as skis.
MI-PILOT Assist integrates Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA), and supports driving operation by maintaining the distance between vehicles and keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane. Vehicles equipped with navigation link system can read the speed signs to automatically change the set speed and utilize the navigation map information to automatically adjust the vehicle speed to that appropriate for curves and forks in expressways and other situations. To reduce troublesome setting operations while driving in heavy traffic on expressways, the vehicle can automatically move forward within about 30 seconds after stopping.
For the airbags, a front center airbag for the driver’s seat and side airbags for the second-row seats are standard equipped, and a total of 11 airbags are installed. In case of a side collision, the front center airbag deploys between the driver’s seat and front passenger seat.
Mitsubishi Connect is installed as a car support system that allows users to enjoy a more comfortable car life and a safe driving experience. To protect the safety of the driver, a button can be pressed to request aid from the call center if the vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, and it automatically reports when an airbag is deployed. It also handles a variety of incidents, such as generating a vehicle theft warning and reporting vehicle position information to the user if the vehicle is stolen.
Further, operation by smartphone can be used to display the vehicle’s parked position or to cause the vehicle’s lights to flash to show where it is parked. Many convenient functions are provided, such as remote operation that can be used to start the engine and turn on the air conditioner before getting in to make the cabin comfortable during cold winters and hot summers, as well as unlocking the doors from a remote location. To manage driving by family, the user can also receive notices when the vehicle is driven outside of a set time period, above a set speed, or outside a set area.