Mitsubishi previews 2021 Outlander with off-road teaser

Published: 27 January 2021

► New Outlander
► Riffs on Engleberg concept styling
► Could be revealed later this year

A new generation Mitsubishi Outlander is just around the corner, with a February 17 global reveal promising a car that’s larger on the inside, bolder on the outside and coming after the Toyota RAV4 in the technology stakes.

The new design is expected to closely mimic the extravagant styling of 2019’s Engleberg Tourer concept, while it’s likely to share much of its componentry with the new generation Nissan X-Trail.

But the aspects that made the Outlander a unique offering in the mid-size SUV segment are expected to remain, meaning we should see a seven-seat version and a hybrid powertrain option.

Mitsubishi is also attempting to leverage its rally roots with the new Outlander’s drivetrain development if the Japanese manufacturer’s latest video teaser is anything to go by.

The footage touts an all-new version of the company’s Super All-Wheel Control System (S-AWC), showing the Outlander sliding around on mud, snow and gravel surfaces. The all-wheel-drive system’s calibration is still being finalised. Mitsubishi says it will provide “driver confidence and security in all weather and road conditions.”

“We took everything we know about on- and off-road driving from the rally experiences to apply the latest Super All-Wheel Control technology in our newly developed platform,” said Kentaro Honda, lead engineer for the Outlander.

“We also specifically developed a new drive mode selector to provide confident driving at all times and in all weather conditions.”

The all-new Outlander will replace a car that’s more than a decade old, and originally based on a Mitsubishi Lancer. 

We expect the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid to again be an important part of the new Outlander range. It should get the recently renewed 2.4-litre petrol engine combined with a rear-mounted electric motor, possibly with upgrades to the battery and motor to improve performance and range.

The Engelberg Tourer concept, which debuted at the 2019 Geneva show, is a good pointer to both the next Outlander’s hybrid intentions and to the continuation of the bold styling language that now adorns other Mitsubishi models such as the ASX, Triton and Pajero Sport.