Struggling Japanese brand Mitsubishi shrugged off all profitability concerns for a very upbeat press conference at the 2006 New York International Auto Show. The big news was the debut of the all-new Outlander SUV. It looks like nothing so much as a Grand Vitara from the front end, but Mitsubishi stylists really went wild with the rear, where clear-les LED tail-lights set off a clean, angular design theme. Billed as a “driver’s SUV,” the new Outlander features motorcycle-inspired gauges and a lightweight alloy roof panel for an improved center of gravity.
The new Outlander is larger than the outgoing model, but its V6 still qualifies for PZEV status. Power is rated at 220hp and 202 lb.-ft., from 3 liters of displacement. A three-mode all-wheel-drive system is also offered, which can be set to front-drive for economy, all-wheel-drive for traction, or true locked four-wheel-drive for the real rough stuff. A six-speed automatic is standard.
The Outlander’s interior is modern and attractive, and options such as a satellite nav system with 10 gigabytes of mp3 storage and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo should appeal to modern consumers. There’s also an available rear-seat DVD player with a nine-inch screen, and a FastKey keyless entry system.