By Tim Pollard
First Official Pictures
09 November 2011 13:00
Mitsubishi will show the Mirage city car and Concept PX-MiEV II concept cars at the 2011 Tokyo motor show, which opens on 30 November. Both are world premieres.
It's our first look at Mitsubishi's new city car in production trim and a concept car which clearly points to 2012's new Outlander.
The Mitsubishi Mirage: the lowdown
The new Mirage is a city car to slot underneath today's Colt supermini, and is the production version of 2010's Global Small Concept. At 3710mm long, it's around 10cm shorter than a Colt and is pitched as 'an affordable entry-level model.' Despite its compact dimensions, Mitsubishi claims there is space for five adults inside.
The Mirage goes on sale first in Thailand in March 2012, but European sales are set for the end of 2012 and early 2013. Like Nissan with its Micra, Mitsubishi is building the Mirage in Thailand where costs are lower.
How clean is the Mirage?
Although Mitsu has issued no weight figures yet, the Mirage is said to be commendably lightweight and has been on a crash course in how to save CO2. The rolling resistance has been trimmed, the wheels are a welcome 14in in diameter, the body is claimed to be low drag and the Japanese-spec models will gobble fuel at a rate of just 85mpg, the company claims. It's powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine which has stop-start and a CVT auto transmission.
If that's not clean enough, wait for the electric Mirage, which is coming as one of eight EVs or hybrids by 2015.
Mitsubishi hasn't yet confirmed if it will replace today's ageing Colt supermini; the Mirage could supersede that car.
And what about the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II?
This is Mitsubishi's take on a plug-in hybrid powered mid-sized crossover, which points heavily to 2012's new Outlander. This seven-seat SUV borrows know-how from the company's existing i-MIEV but wrapped in an SUV bodyshell a tad bigger than a Freelander's.
By adding a 2.0-litre petrol engine to the EV powertrain Mitsubishi claims that 170mpg is possible on this concept car – which means a chunky 500 mile touring range on a small tank. Around 30 miles are claimed as a zero-emissions range on electric mode, after which the petrol engine will start up as a generator.
Interestingly, the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II uses some of the software from the Evo X's S-AWC four-wheel drive system. So the 60kW electric motors at either axle are governed by microchips determining where the EV power should be meted out. We still somehow doubt that Mitsubishi will produce a mid-sized hybrid SUV that's as lairy to drive as an Evo X. Which is probably for the best.