We often see Japanese domestic market introductions and get all hot and bothered because those cars won't be sold here in the United States. This is not one of those times.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage goes on sale in Thailand in March with three stated objectives: Compactness, affordability, and efficiency. At about the size of a Mini Cooper hatchback (146 inches in length), the five-seater Mirage looks in every way like the transportation appliance it aims to be. Powered by a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine with stop/start technology and a continuously variable transmission, Mitsubishi says it should be good for about 30 kilometers per liter – that's 70 miles per gallon. That's impressive – its 14-inch wheels and disposable wheel covers, less so.

It's been a decade since Mitsubishi sold a Mirage in the U.S., and over 20 years since anyone cared. We don't expect this one to even make it here, let alone move that needle.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.
Show full PR text
Mitsubishi Motors Lineup at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo, November 9, 2011 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will be showing a total of 15 vehicles (12 on Press Day 1) at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in Tokyo from November 30 through December 11 (open to the public from December 3). Two cars will make their world premiere at the show: the Mirage and the MITSUBISHI Concept PX-MiEV II. They respectively embody two major pillars to the company's product strategy outlined in the JUMP 2013 mid-term business plan: global strategic models focused on emerging markets and models featuring "green technology." The Mirage compact car embodies the global model strategy while the MITSUBISHI Concept PX-MiEV II concept SUV features "green technology" with its unique plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Mirage

The Mirage's* design focused on compactness, affordability, and high fuel efficiency in order to fit the needs of emerging markets as an affordable entry-level model as well as needs of advanced markets for fuel efficiency and low-CO2 emission. In addition, the Mirage features good maneuverability and easy drivability inherent to a compact car while also providing a comfortable interior space for five adults.

MMC has targeted top-of-class fuel efficiency (Japan market version) of 30km per liter through a variety of measures including painstaking reduction in weight throughout almost every part of the car, reduction in rolling resistance and higher efficiency through detailed improvements to the engine, transmission, brakes and tires, and an aerodynamic body that reduces air resistance and drag. The new Mirage is due to go on sale first in Thailand in March 2012.

Mirage specifications (Japan market version)

Overall length: 3710mm
Overall width: 1665mm
Overall height: 1490mm
Occupants: 5
Engine: 1.0L 3-cylinder MIVEC with Auto Stop & Go (AS&G)
Transmission: CVT
Target fuel efficiency: 30km/L
Drivetrain: 2WD
Tires: 165/65R14

* Stems from the English word "mirage." The name was first used for the Mirage series developed for resource/energy/space-saving and high-performance in a compact package which debuted in Japan in March 1978. The new Mirage concept inherits the essence of that first series: cleverly getting the most performance and function out of a limited space.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      Devin Christiansen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Breathtaking.
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      70mpg is impressive, but it's sad to see Mitsubishi going from being one of the most sportiest car companies to one of the most compact and practical. I understand that the route they are taking is the right one this time, still I would like to see Mitsubishi to return to some of it's sporty roots. I'm still waiting for my 3000gt successor...
        P
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dennis Baskov
        Agree with you. But, to their credit, they have the foresight to see that their sales numbers don't allow them the funds (ie R&D) to compete with modern performance brands. That and the fact that premium gasoline will likely top $6 here in California next year and head North from there. Thriftiness will be FAR more prized than it is today so, maybe, that's their route "back."
          Dennis Baskov
          • 3 Years Ago
          @P
          That plus people like us are minorities in the car consumer world. The cars that sell in masses in modern world, tend be the fuel efficient and appliance like Toyota for example. Mitsubishi is just taking a safe route, and I don't blame em. That's why I have doubts that my favorite Mitsubishi (3000gt) probably won't return any time soon if ever.
          Dennis Baskov
          • 3 Years Ago
          @P
          *That's why I have doubts that 3000gt will return any time soon, if ever.* (A little grammar typo)
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 3 Years Ago
      The chances are good I will never have to see this in person. Awesome.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, it DOES get 70 mpg.
      WillieD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dang, that's a sexy beast.
      Yev
      • 3 Years Ago
      That must be the most generic looking compact hatch I've seen in a long time! Even the Chevy Spark and Sonic look better. Makes sense that they aren't bringing it to the U.S. since our tastes here seem to be shifting away from generic looks in favor of better (or at least more distinct) exterior design. For the same price I'd definitely consider anything from Chevy, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Mazda, Suzuki, before this thing.
      Hashiryu
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow...... Once upon a time the mirage cyborg was beyond cool.. wtf is this crap?
      teamplayers99
      • 3 Years Ago
      HAHA nice write up Paul, couldn't have said it better
      Spotted Cow
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm willing to compromise that with the fuel efficiency debate it's all or nothing. When you're going to be deadly serious about getting the highest MPG's, style and quality of materials are gonna have to take a back seat, especially when accounting for affordability. This is going to sound insane, which it is, but when I get those hazy post-apocalyptic thoughts in the back of my head of $6,$7, $10 a gallon, I'm sure I'll be out looking for the cheapest and most fuel efficient vehicle to buy, which should keep me alive long enough before leather clad anarchist bikers chase me down with sawed off shotguns demanding I pay my student loans.
      Jimmy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks cute and practical, what's with the hate people?
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy
        stuck in the 90ies? also: http://www.glasses.com/
        dukeisduke
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy
        Because Mitsubishis are crap cars? When you've been passed up by Hyundai and Kia, you're in bad shape.
        ammca66564
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jimmy
        The concept version of this was a beautiful, spirited tough little car. This thing is just plain dopey looking.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Joey Mcfreely
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's ugly, but it still looks better than anything Honda is making.
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