LONDON - Mitsubishi has focused on reducing emissions for the third-generation Outlander medium SUV, which will be unveiled in production form at next month's Geneva auto show.
The new model showcases a new design language for the automaker after it ditched the aggressive 'jet-fighter' grille first seen on the Evo sports sedan and used on the current Outlander.
The fresh look was previewed by the PX-MiEV II shown at the Toyko auto show last year and signifies a desire to cut emissions, according to the company.
"Up until now Mitsubishi has focused on driveability and SUV development," general design manager Hiroaki Ohtsuka said at the Tokyo show. "Our new initiative shifts focus to more environmental aspects."
The new Outlander goes on sale in Europe late summer with the choice of a 2.2-liter diesel or a 2.0-liter gasoline engine. CO2 emissions drop as low as 130 grams per kilometer with the use of stop-start technology and the option of two-wheel-drive.
Following in 2013 will be a plug-in hybrid Outlander with a target CO2 figure of 50g/km, according to the company.
High-tech options for all models include active cruise control with collision warning and automatic braking. An electric tailgate will also be offered, and it'll come with a third row of seats in the trunk.
The Outlander will no longer be built in the NedCar plant in the Netherlands. On Monday, Mitsubishi said it would end all production there next year.
The new production location has yet to be announced, although the automaker has said it will build the plug-in hybrid in Japan.
The Outlander is Mitsubishi's third best-selling model in Europe after the ASX and Colt. Outlander sales in 2011 were 17,815, down 18 percent on 2010, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics.