2010 Mitsubishi Outlander - Click above image to view in high-res

When Mitsubishi showed off the Evo-schnozzed Outlander GT Prototype at the New York Auto Show last April, it was pretty obvious that what we were seeing was a lightly-"conceptified" version of the next production car. Well, that's officially been confirmed, as the next-generation Outlander made its debut in Australia last week. Yep, there's the gaping maw up front. Frankly, the Outlander looked fine to us before; this expansion of the Lancer Evo design language to the compact SUV seems forced and unnecessary. Oh well, it'll at least get people talking. Whether they say nice things is another matter. Between this and the arrival (finally) of the Lancer Sportback, perhaps Mitsu stores will see an uptick in much-needed foot traffic. The full rundown of changes to the new Outlander (at least in Aussie-spec) is in the lengthy press release pasted after the jump.

[Source: Mitsubishi]


PRESS RELEASE:

Mitsubishi's 2010 Model Year Outlander Reveals Aggressive Styling and Upgraded Features


Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) is pleased to announce the arrival of the 2010 model year Outlander featuring a distinctive and aggressive styling make-over which includes the company's trademark "jet fighter" grille, and a host of new comfort, convenience and safety appointments. Improvements to the Outlander's engineering include the addition of Hill Start Control to automatic transmission models and Super All Wheel Control to V6 models.

MMAL's president and CEO, Robert McEniry, said the 2010 Outlander's flexibility and versatility is perfectly suited to an active lifestyle.

"The new Mitsubishi Outlander is squarely targeted at couples and young families who are on-the-go people who are focused on wringing every last second of enjoyment out of life.

"You can throw your surfboard or mountain bike in the back, plug your iPod into the USB port, and you - and up to six of your friends - can go places you've never been in comfort, style and safety," McEniry said.

The big story for the 2010 Outlander is the thoroughly "next generation" styling, inspired by the outstanding Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype displayed at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The front grille design is taken from the Lancer Evolution's "jet fighter" look and is complemented by contemporary design elements, such as a reshaped front bumper, side mirrors, fenders and bonnet. Reshaped headlamps, a new rear bumper and side sills complete the slick sports styling.

Complementing the exterior changes, the Outlander interior design has been freshened with the addition of new seat, door and dash trims, grained leather to premium models, double-stitching, chrome accents and a brilliant new instrument cluster. Additional Lancer-Evolution-inspired design cues include available aluminium racing style pedals and a sport-type steering wheel.

Technological upgrades for the new Outlander include the addition of Mitsubishi's acclaimed Super-All Wheel Control system (S-AWC) to V6 models, improvements to power delivery and fuel economy, the addition of Hill Start Control (HAC) for all CVT and automatic models and USB inputs for audio (where Mitsubishi's Multi Communication System or MMCS is not fitted).

Merging Mitsubishi's experience in off-road and rally racing with production car development, the V6 Outlander features the revolutionary Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. Beyond simple four-wheel drive, S-AWC is a comprehensive system that improves handling, traction and stability. Using a first-in-class active front limited-slip differential and an electronically controlled four-wheel drive coupling, S-AWC can prevent wheel slip between front to rear and side-to-side, providing greater traction through all types of terrain and inclement weather, including ice, snow and rain.

The 2010 model year Outlander continues with two tried and trusted engine choices. First, the 2.4-litre DOHC 16 valve MPI MIVEC engine provides peppy, yet frugal motoring for drivers with a keen eye for economy and generates 125 kW of power @ 6,000 rpm and 226 NM of torque @4,100rpm. The 2.4-litre engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with Sports Mode sequential style shift changes and INVECS Smart Logic.

Drivers with a need for speed will choose the powerful V6 3.0-litre SOHC 24 valve MPI MIVEC engine which generates 169 KW of power @ 6,250 rpm and 291 Nm of torque @ 3,750 rpm. The V6 benefits from improvements to the all-aluminium engine, including a reduction in intake restriction plus optimised camshaft timing and compression ratio. These changes raise the maximum output by a modest 7 kW, but, importantly, also contribute to an improved torque curve for more responsive city driving and improved fuel economy and emissions.

The 3.0-litre V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sports Mode sequential style shift change and INVECS Smart Logic.

The 2010 model year Outlander offers a comprehensive line-up of variants, with the 2.4-litre version available in three specification levels, the LS (manual or CVT), XLS and the XLS Luxury option (these last two with CVT only). The 3.0-litre V6 version offers two specification levels, the VR and the VRX (V6 versions with six-speed automatic transmission only). All variants carry over relevant braking and suspension technology from the previous model.

Socially active Outlander owners will appreciate the inclusion of an optional third row of seats with one-touch roll-away function, available on LS CVT versions only.

Safety is a focus of the 2010 model year Outlander, with all models featuring driver and front passenger dual stage SRS airbags, active stability control, ABS with EBD and RISE body protection and three-point ELR seatbelts. Side and curtain airbags are available on all models – optional on the LS and standard on all other variants.

Other safety features available on XLS, XLS Luxury and VRX variants include HID headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System which includes automatic levelling, and reverse parking sensors, while the XLS Luxury and VRX variants add a rear view camera.

Specification levels for the 2010 model year Outlander underline Mitsubishi's commitment to providing exciting, highly appointed vehicles at exceptional prices.

Entry level LS (2.4-litre engine) variants come with all the standard appointments carried over from the previous model, including air-conditioning, electric windows, remote-control locking, and add Hill Start Assist, two-speed variable and intermittent wipers, USB ports, new instrument panel, new interior finishes, welcome and coming home lighting and new synchronised washers. Options for the LS variants include side and passenger airbags and seven seats.

XLS (2.4-litre engine) variants add 18-inch alloy wheels, Smart Key remote entry, new premium cloth trim, automatic air-conditioning, aluminium pedals, cool/warm box and Bluetooth 2.0 functionality, while XLS Luxury variants include unique 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, dusk sensing headlamps, rain sensing wipers, sunroof, reverse camera and a 710 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. MMCS is also available on the XLS Luxury and includes satellite navigation, voice activation, iPod functionality, Bluetooth and vehicle maintenance data.

The 3.0-litre VR variants include all the appointments of the LS model and add the security of Mitsubishi's acclaimed S-AWC system, fog lamps, reverse sensors, alloy pedals and enhanced interior trim. The top of the range VRX variant includes the premium appointments of the XLS Luxury model - unique 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, dusk sensing headlamps, rain sensing wipers, sunroof, reversing camera, Rockford Fosgate sound system and MMCS - along with the S-AWC system.

All Outlanders are available in a variety of paint colours including the new shades of Ironbark and Sapphire, as well as Red, Cool Silver, Black, Effect Grey and White.

Mitsubishi provides its industry leading warranty on all Outlander vehicles, including a comprehensive five year/130,000 km whole vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000 km powertrain warranty and a five year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance package.

Launching the new Outlander, Robert McEniry said he couldn't imagine a vehicle that was better placed to meet the demands of today's lifestyle oriented go-getters.

"This vehicle has got the lot – style, safety and flexibility," McEniry said. "If you're the sort of person who likes to get up and go – anywhere - then the Outlander has all the technology and versatility to get you there."