TOKYO – Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will replace its aggressive "jet-fighter" grille with a more "friendly" face as its tries to recast itself as a green-car specialist.
The Japanese automaker wants to use a range of full-electric cars and plug-in hybrids to halve its average global CO2 emissions by 2020, using 2005 as a baseline. Mitsubishi declined to reveal its 2005 global figure but in 2007 its CO2 average in Europe was 170 grams per kilometer.
By 2015, automakers must reduce CO2 emissions from new cars sold in Europe to a fleet average of 130g/km. Last year's average was 140.9g/km, down from 145.9g/km in 2009, according to JATO Dynamics's analysis of 21 European markets.
"Up until now Mitsubishi has focused on driveablility, sports mobility and SUV development," general design manager Hiroaki Ohtsuka told Automotive News Europe earlier this month at the Tokyo auto show. "That showed in our design, but now we are shifting focus to a more environmental aspect. From the jet-fighter look, we are moving to a more friendly looking grille."
The firm's jet-fighter grille was first seen on the Lancer-based Evo X, launched in Europe in 2008.