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Mitsubishi model rush

Lancer boost: Mitsubishi's Lancer will be updated with a 2.4-litre Mivec engine.

Mitsubishi's entire range in Australia will be renewed within 40 months

13 Dec 2004

MITSUBISHI’S Magna replacement is only part of a model rush that will see the entire range renewed within 40 months.

Those models will include the Lancer update with 2.4-litre Mivec engine in the second half of 2005, as well as the continuing Evo series, from which Evo IX becomes a fully fledged member of the range rather than a low-volume import.

SUVs will get a strong kickalong with the arrival of the next generation Pajero and there’s also an all-new Outlander and a vehicle MMAL calls a “mid-sized MPV” that would have a V6 engine and seven seats.

There is still some suggestion that Outlander and the MPV could be a single replacement for the V6 Challenger to take on the likes of Territory and Kluger. But the plan now appears to be two sep-arate vehicles with the Outlander retaining its compact SUV role.

There is a new Triton light commercial on the way as well, to be sourced from Thailand while all other imports will come from Japan.

The sales potential of the entry level Colt will also be boosted in 2006. While only currently sold as a CVT transmission 1.5-litre five-door, MMAL wants to add a manual version, a 300mm longer Colt Plus (just launched in Japan), the three-door CZT turbo hot hatch and a possible Ralliart version.

The manual version of the Colt would be a particularly significant addition, lowering the entry level price into the mid-teens from the current $18,990.

Last week, MMAL boss Tom Phillips had a dig at the motoring media because it has given the Colt a less than rapturous reception. Mitsubishi has also launched a press ad headed ‘Colt Status’ which lists the awards the small car has won internationally.

"Some of these things are a little bit subjective, some things I can understand where the journalists might be coming from," he said. "It comes down to personal perception I suppose."Despite disappointing initial sales, Mr Phillips is confident Colt will lift, basing that on reviews he had received from new owners whom he had rung to congratulate on their purchase as part of a new executive program.

"I can tell you the feedback has been outstanding, so if word of mouth plays any part in selling cars then I think the Colt is going to provide future sales for us through that avenue for a long time to come," he said.

*Sales of imported product has only fallen three per cent this year despite the end of the entry level Mirage and the popular Lancer Coupe. Indeed, many imports including Canter, Express, F-Series, Fighter, Outlander and Triton 4x2 are all up on their 2003 sales levels.

WHAT'S COMING

2005 – First half:
Triton range expansion
Second half:
Lancer with 2.4-litre Mivec engine
Lancer Evo IXOctober 2005:
PS41 Magna replacement2006 – First half:
Colt range expansion
Second half:
Pajero
Triton2007 – First half:
Outlander replacement
Mid-sized MPVLate 2007/early 2008:
New generation Lancer

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