Mitsubishi has made no bones about the fact its Concept-CX mini-SUV will reach production, but so far we've only seen the original 2007 show car, and a single sketch showing how the production version might look. But these new images – taken straight from the design patents filed for the new car – reveal almost every detail of the final production SUV.
So this is Mitsubishi's new mini-SUV?
Yes, but while the front end remains quite faithful to the original concept, with just slightly less hooded headlights and a more conventional bonnet shut line, the back has been completely revised. Adding rear quarter windows and extending the bodywork significantly to add some reasonable luggage space means it's no longer quite so sharp or compact, and the concept's all-glass tailgate has also made way for an unremarkable conventional arrangement.
The sweeping swage line along the CX's side, a key visual cue of the concept, is arguably even more pronounced on the production version, though we see hints of mundane Mercedes A- or B-class in the flanks.
What's under the skin?
The platform is based on the latest Lancer, with the optional four-wheel drive system derived from the same. The firm's new lightweight aluminium 4N13 16v DOHC turbodiesel engine with around 135bhp - which was first shown in the Concept-CX - is expected to be the popular choice in Europe. Mitsu has also developed a 190bhp version, which could slot in if needed, and there'll be petrol options too. While the concept used Mitsubishi's twin-clutch SST gearbox, conventional manuals and autos are more likely to be standard on the CX.
Just as Mitsubishi's bigger Outlander SUV spawned two European derivatives – the Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 – the company's new design also looks set to be shared with PSA.
The design patents are clearly marked to show that the nose and tail of the Mitsubishi are unique, with red highlighting to show the areas covered by the patent. The clear implication is that other front and rear designs mounted to the same centre section are on the way – and presumably those will be the Peugeot and Citroen versions.
Sales of Mitsubishi's new SUV start in Japan next February, before the car makes its European debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2010, ahead of a summer on-sale date on this side of the world.
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