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Look Ma, no driver! – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Mitsubishi wants people to take notice of its 2011 Outlander Sport. There will be traditional print and television ad campaigns, but the automaker is also exploring new ways of reaching new car buyers. Through its creative agency 180 LA, Mitsubishi plans to put a bunch of car shoppers behind the wheel of the new crossover. Not literally, but virtually.

The automaker is rolling out its Mitsubishi Live Drive campaign that puts drivers behind the wheel of an actual Outlander Sport. They won't be sitting in the vehicle but instead they'll be in front of a computer. The CUV will be controlled remotely via users on the Internet. While we don't want to be anywhere near the car when this is happening, it's certainly a novel re-imagining of the test drive concept.

The Mitsubishi Live Drive event kicks off November 1, 2010 and runs through November 10. If you're interested in testing out your computer driving skills, you can sign up starting October 15 at OutlanderSport.com. In the meantime, you can catch a sneak peak at what's in store by viewing the video and official press release after the jump. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Sources: Mitsubishi, AdWeek, YouTube]

Show full PR text

The All-New 2011 Mitsubishi Motors Outlander Sport is Set to Become the 'World's First Online Test Drive'

CYPRESS, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting November 1st and continuing through November 10th, 2010, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), will host Mitsubishi Live Drive, the World's First Online Test Drive of an actual vehicle utilizing interactive remote control of the company's latest automotive creation, the all-new 2011 Outlander Sport.

Residents of the United States who are 18 years and older with a valid driver's license will be able to register to have the chance to take a virtual jump behind the wheel to drive the all-new, affordably-priced 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, a handsome and sure-footed 5-passenger compact crossover vehicle (CUV) with numerous available high-tech features normally associated with expensive high-end vehicles that starts at only $18,495. Available amenities include a panoramic sunroof with LED accent lighting; a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate® sound system with 10-in. subwoofer; a 40GB HDD DVD-based navigation system with a large, 7-in. touch-screen, real-time traffic and storage for up to 3,000 songs; a quick-shifting continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with magnesium-alloy steering column mounted paddle shifters; One-touch Start/Stop (OSS) engine switch; and an electronically-controlled All-Wheel Control (AWC) system, to name but a few.

Using a combination of remote control software and hardware and a unique system interface, participants will be able to take an actual 2011 Outlander Sport for a virtual spin on a closed course from their personal computers. "We have worked hard to devise a truly innovative marketing campaign utilizing cutting edge technologies to recreate a genuine Mitsubishi-experience that engages consumers upfront about the new 2011 Outlander Sport and the Mitsubishi Motors brand," said Gregory Adams, Vice President of Marketing MMNA. Working with our creative advertising agency 180 LA, our digital agency-of-record, Schematic, a WPP company, and partners B-Reel, a leading production company that specializes in superlative media for television, digital signage and internet campaigns, and world-renowned experts Dr. James Brighton (robotics) and Simon Cave (web design), this team has combined multiple point of view (POV) video cameras onboard the Outlander Sport, advanced electronic receivers and state-of-the-art servo motors to control the vehicle's dynamics and sync it with precision GPS mapping to allow participants the remarkable opportunity to drive Mitsubishi's hot new crossover via interactive remote control.

"We see this project as part of the ever-expanding blur between the virtual world and the physical world," noted William Gelner, Executive Creative Director at 180 LA. "A prime example of how technology continues to evolve the way we approach even the simplest experiences, like test-driving a car."

The online test drive is part of an integrated marketing effort that kicks off October 15th through January and includes television, print, digital and direct mail.

Participants will enjoy the feeling of literally being in the driver's seat. This experience gives the driver almost total control over the Outlander Sport. Drivers will be able to experience many of the Outlander Sport's deluxe features while performing the test drive, plus enjoy the challenge of collecting vehicle "feature pods" while learning about this crossover's cool tech features and amenities.

Those wanting to participate in the World's First Online Test Drive can start signing up on October 15 at the car's microsite, www.outlandersport.com, to obtain a code that can be used to queue for the live test drive on opening day, November 1st.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks through a network of approximately 400 dealers. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.

SOURCE Mitsubishi Motors North America

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      LMAO, this little advert experiment will probably last all of 12 seconds before it ends abruptly...against a wall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not trying to troll or come off as ignorant, I work in the auto industry and wouldn't be here if I wasn't a car nut, but I really, really didn't even realize this car existed (will exist soon?). I suppose I am ignorant of Mitsu's lineup besides the Lancer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had a look at one of these at the dealer. Interior is a bit cramped in the rear and some interior materials are questionable. It's small and you get what you pay for. I like it though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      how long before someone crashes it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure they will have some limits of what the car can be told to do. I also don't doubt that there's some sort of override built into it combined with proximity sensors on the vehicle in case it gets too close to the edge of the test area. Sort of like an Invisible Fence type of thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe they can put in some huge soccer balls like on topgear and have two outlanders with giant soccer goals. Just a thought.
      • 4 Years Ago
      they should just put this in Gran Turismo it's better than real life :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        Need for Speed Shift is the better racing game
      • 4 Years Ago
      This looks cool! don't know if anyone would want me trying to drive, but it's awesome!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The point is simply to generate extra publicity for the 2011 Outlander, the Mitsubishi brand, etc. This will no doubt create far more Internet driven chatter than a traditional press release about the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ivanz who said, "Confusing to say the least, as its not a sportier Outlander, but a smaller version of it."

        It is not confusing, they have done it before. The Montero Sport was smaller version of the Montero. However it did not wear the same sheetmetal, just rode on a similar platform up until the unibody Montero rolled out in 2001.

        The Ford Explorer Sport was a smaller version of the Explorer, more specifically a 2-door version of it.

        The Range Rover Sport is a smaller version of the Range Rover, but it wears different sheetmetal yet rides on the same platform.

        There is no rule that says Sport has to mean faster or a better handler, especially when it comes to SUVs as there are other examples.

        They do this so they can lump sales of the vehicle together and make the nameplate look better overall. Very similar to Corolla Matrix, Camry Solara, the 2004 Pathfinder Armada, Accord Crosstour and so on and so forth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Woops, I switch RVR/ASX in my post. Too many names for this car!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oops. This was meant to be a reply to auto.design's post above.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I disagree. As Boxer more or less implied, one isn't going to get a tangible impression of the vehicle through this method, leaving takers with little to talk about other than the facilitating technology. At the end of the day, Mitsubishi will remain a C-list player acknowledged by few other than reminiscers, Lancer/Evo owners, and bargain hunters.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But it's not suppose to give anyone a tangible impression of the vehicle. This is NOT a substitute for a real test drive. They're simply trying to get people to go to the Outlandersport.com website, generate Internet chatter, and get media outlets like CNN, Fox News, CNBC, New York Times, L.A. Times, USA Today, etc. pick up the story of this unique attempt to promote the 2011 Outlander Sport.

        They're out for publicity here with the hope that this extra attention will get more people into showrooms to check out this and/or other Mitsubishis.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's not the Outlander, but the Outlander Sport.
        It is called ASX in Japan (along with a few other markets) and RVR in the rest of the world (including Canada, which is a bit odd). I believe it will only be called Outlander Sport in the US.
        Confusing to say the least, as its not a sportier Outlander, but a smaller version of it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This car is also known as the ASX or ASS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What could possibly go wrong?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh yes, we have taken notice already....it has a whopping 148 hp which is unacceptable in any vehicle, especially a SUV of any size. Until Mits puts a nice turbo in this we will just drive the new 247 hp Turbo Kia Sportage coming in January. Just drove the standard Sportage and its a neat machine and almost usable with 174 hp in a naturally aspirated version.
        • 4 Years Ago
        148 hp is unacceptable in any vehicle?

        Let's see... the cars I've owned have had 52, 52 (same engine, pulled out and put in a different shell,) 92, 116, and ~95-100 pre-chipping, ~115 post-chipping hp.

        Oh, and 71.5, 71.5, 88, 100, ~165-175 pre-chipping, ~215 post-chipping ft-lbs torque.

        Weights, about 2350, 2200, 2100, 2200, and 2850. (Mk2 Jetta diesel, Mk2 Golf diesel, 4th-gen Civic sedan, 1.6 Miata, Mk4 Golf TDI with the VE pump.)

        The only cars that I found to be dangerously slow were the first two. The last two (even pre-chipping, on the last one) ha(d|ve) adequate power for almost every situation, except for the Miata, starting out up hills... after one cylinder started losing compression. (The TDI's pre-chipping numbers are estimates, because it has larger fuel injectors. Stock was 90 hp, 155 ft-lbs torque.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Innovation is also liked by people, and i think it is what people was not expected right now for such great experienced so that many of your commenter are feared with danger or something miss happening possibilities but i am happy for the test drive online.

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