The Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi car making joint venture is now reduced to a two product outfit. Choosing to focus on SUVs, Mitsubishi now sells only two products in India, in the form of the Pajero Sport and Montero SUVs. While the discontinuation of the Pajero SFX, the Lancer and the Cedia were known as early as end 2012, the slow selling Outlander is the latest Mitsubishi car model to face the axe.
The Outlander has been discontinued in India. The crossover, which was a petrol-only model, never really managed to get going in India. Powered by a 2.4 liter MIVEC petrol engine good for 168 Bhp-226 Nm, the Outlander was known for its CVT automatic gearbox with the user adaptive INVECS-III system.
The transmission is a self learning unit that adapts to a driver's driving style based on throttle inputs. A light footed driving style means that the CVT transmission, equipped with the INVECS-III system will up-shift early in the interests of fuel efficiency. A lead footed driving style makes the INVECS-III system shift gears higher up the rev range, for peak performance.
The Outlander sold in India was imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route, which with its petrol-only handicap, meant that the crossover never really had a fighting chance in a market that clearly loved, and loves its diesel powered SUVs. Initially available in 5 seat guise, Mitsubishi added jump seats to the crossover early last year, making the crossover a 7 seater.
Internationally, the second generation version of the Outlander has been replaced by the all new, 3rd generation version. Unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the 3rd-gen Outlander is based on the same GS platform that underpinned the previous generation model. Featuring revised styling, in tune with Mitsubishi's new global design language, the 2013 Outlander is a larger SUV that comes in 5 seat and 7 seat versions.
The new Outlander comes with petrol and turbo diesel engine options. The 2.2 turbo diesel engine outputs 147 Bhp-380 Nm and comes with 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox options. Both 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive options of the Outlander are available. The 2 liter and 2.4 liter petrol engines of the Outlander get manual and the INVECS-III CVT automatic gearboxes.
Given Mitsubishi's focus on SUVs for the Indian car market, the 2013 Outlander could be a viable option given its larger dimensions and turbo diesel engine. CKD assembly could even allow Mitsubishi India to position the SUV below the Pajero Sport. However, it remains unclear as to whether the now-discontinued 2nd-gen Outlander will be replaced with the 3rd-gen model in India.