When Mitsubishi's all-new Outlander arrives in showrooms on 1st March it will enter the UK's fiercely competitive mid-sized SUV sector armed with fresh new styling, all-new chassis architecture, Euro IV-compliant turbo diesel power, electronically controlled all-wheel drive, seven-seat versatility, generous levels of standard safety and luxury specification and a low £19,449 start-off price.
With styling clearly inspired by the 2002 Pajero Evo 2+2 concept, the new Outlander is instantly identifiable as a member of Mitsubishi Motors' rejuvenated line-up of new models. Key design points are its bold grille flanked by a set of piercing headlamps, that create a strong visual link with the new Shogun and L200 pick-up, the distinctively slashed back third side window, boldly flared wheel arches and split tailgate.
The Outlander sits on a new platform frame, Mitsubishi's first-ever global platform, developed in conjunction with DaimlerChrysler. Light and stiff, the chassis along with the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension and rack and pinion steering, has been tuned to deliver an engaging and sure-footed driving experience. For example, the Outlander's roof is made of lightweight aluminium to lower the car's centre of gravity, and in turn reduce roll and boost cornering agility.Key to this driver-orientation is Mitsubishi Motors' rally-inspired AWC All Wheel Control four-wheel drivetrain. With a simple twist of a dial mounted on the cabin's centre console, the Outlander driver can electronically select three driving modes: 2WD front-wheel drive for economy-biased every day driving, 4WD Auto which instantly and effectively transfers torque to the wheels with the most grip up to a 70:30 split, and 4WD Lock which splits torque up to a 50:50 split between front and rear axle as and when required when driving in more difficult conditions. The AWC system has been designed with enhanced on-road stability and safety in mind, as well as allowing the Outlander to tackle wet, snowy or muddy tracks and undertake towing duties.
Like the Grandis, the Outlander is powered by a Volkswagen-sourced 1968cc intercooled turbo diesel four-cylinder engine. Featuring an advanced common rail injection system and a variable geometry turbo charger, it produces 138bhp at 4000rpm and a healthy 310Nm of torque at 1750rpm. Naturally, it meets demanding Euro IV emission regulations. Hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission with ratios developed to tap into the engine's deep torque reservoir, the Outlander sprints to 62mph in 10.8seconds and has a maximum speed of 116mph. It's fitted with 294mm ventilated disc brakes up front and 302mm disc brakes at the rear, backed up by ABS anti-lock and EBD electronic brakeforce distribution systems.
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