Wraps come off new Outlander

Riley Riley

The shape’s familiar, but the rest of Mitsubishi’s new Outlander is dramatically different.

And, in a first, the mid-sized SUV has made its public debut on Amazon Live — the first vehicle to do so.

The all-new Outlander goes on sale in the United States in April and in Australia later in the year.

Outlander is the third most successful model in the local outfit’s portfolio, behind Triton ute and the evergreen ASX compact SUV — with a total of 167,575 sales.

Launched in 2003, this is the fourth generation to carry the name and sees the debut of the company’s next generation, Dynamic Shield front face — or the “Decepticon” look as we like to refer to it.

As well as a major redesign, the five-seven seater scores a larger, more powerful 2.5-litre petrol engine, shared with the Nissan X-Trail (they’re part of the same alliance).

It’s paired with an updated electronically-controlled 4WD and Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, along with a newly developed drive mode selector.

The cabin goes upmarket thanks to the use of high-quality materials, digital instrument displays and wireless phone charging.

Underpinning the new design, is a concept that Mitsubishi calls I-Fu-Do-Do which apparently means authentic and majestic in Japanese.

Seriously? How do they come up with these things?

The newly developed platform offers greatly improved crash protection and more dynamic handling.

The upgraded 2.5-litre petrol engine develops 135kW of power and 245Nm of torque.

That’s 8.9 per cent more power and it’s 2.6 per cent more fuel efficient than the previous model.

“Torqueful” (who the hell makes up these words) and powerful at low-to-medium engine revs, it’s said to be smooth and easy-to-handle at high revs, enabling the driver to enjoy “pleasant city trips to fun sporty driving”.

Transmission is via an 8-speed sport mode CVT with step shift control to changes gears or “steps” like a traditional auto.

4WD models incorporate an hydraulic clutch driven by an electric motor that distributes torque between front and rear wheels.

It’s also equipped with Active Yaw Control (AYC) that brakes individual wheels, providing front to back as well as side to side control of torque delivery.

All-new Outlander is equipped with different drive modes — six in 4WD models and five for 2WD (front wheel drive) models.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps to maintain a distance from other vehicles and keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane.

A total of 11 airbags are fitted with a front centre airbag for the driver’s seat and side airbags for the second-row seats as standard equipment.

Top spec models will be available with 20 inch wheels, a 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument display with a 9-inch centre info screen, as well as wireless phone charging — together with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.

The centre screen can also display navigation instructions directly from a smartphone.

Vehicles equipped with navigation can read speed signs and automatically change set speed.

Navigation info can also be used to automatically adjust vehicle speed to that appropriate for curves and forks in expressways and other situations.

A smartphone can also be used to locate a vehicle and/or flash the lights to show where it is parked.

It can also be used to start the engine and turn on the air conditioner, as well as to unlock the doors remotely.

And, in a family context, the user can opt to be notified when the car is driven outside of a set time period, above a set speed, or outside a set area.

Audio in the top spec model is by Bose by the way, with 10-speaker to fill the cabin.

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