Mitsubishi is trying to reinvent itself, but thus far, it has done a pretty poor job at it. All it’s done is eliminate its last enthusiast car in the Lancer Evo, gave the Mirage a turd-polishing, and uglyfied the Outlander Sport, so it’s not on the right path yet. However, a new report from Automotive News indicates that the Japanese brand has plenty of cool stuff up its sleeve that could make it one of the more desirable makes by 2020.
According to the report, Mitsubishi has committed to releasing a trio of electrified crossovers in the U.S. market in the next five years. This process will begin with a plug-in hybrid-only version of the Outlander in mid-2016 – there will not be a gasoline model available. Following that, it will then move to a small, coupe-style crossover with plug-in hybrid and gasoline powertrains sometime after the fall of 2017 that will bridge the gap between the Outlander Sport and Outlander.
Following the crossover coupe, Mitsu will turn its attention back to the Outlander. This time around, it will give its largest crossover a full redesign, but it will retain its plug-in hybrid powertrain and add in a gasoline version. This will take place sometime after 2017.
In 2019, Mitsubishi will redesign the Outlander Sport and convert is to a full-EV crossover.
Mitsubishi CEO, Osamu Masuko, also gave Automotive News some inside information on the future of its other models. The best news to come out of this report is confirmation that the i-MiEV will get the axe with no plans for a successor. Masuko also confirmed suspicions that the Lancer will not return after elimination and that a successor to the Galant is no longer in the cards. He did, however, confirm that the Mirage will get a sedan variant in the spring of 2016.
All of these changes, combined with Mitsubishi’s ability to keep prices low, could result in the brand continuing its sales growth in the future, especially once gas prices shoot back up.