Auto blogTue, 18 Nov 2014
Of all the automakers producing pickup trucks these days, even among just the Japanese automakers, Mitsubishi might not spring to mind first. But maybe it should. The Diamond-Star company has been in the game now for 36 years, selling over four million pickups around the world. These days that comes down principally to the Triton, of which it sold over a third of a million units last year alone for a total of over 1.2 million produced since its introduction in 2005. Now, after nine years on the market, Mitsubishi has launched a new version.
Clearly drawing its stylistic influence (if not the hybrid powertrain) from the GR-HEV concept Mitsubishi showcased at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the new Triton aims to combine "the comfortable interior of a passenger car with the functionality and reliability of a pickup." It's more stylish, more comfortable and safer than the model it replaces, and comes in an array of configurations.
Buyers of the new Triton (known in some markets as the L200, among other nameplates it's worn over the years) will be able to choose between Single, Double and Club Cab variants. Powertrain choices will vary by market, but will be based around three engines: a 2.4-liter gasoline unit, a 2.5-liter turbodiesel and a new 2.4-liter turbodiesel with electronic valve timing.
Mitsubishi's has been busily clawing its way back from the brink of irrelevancy in the US market for several years. One of its most important models in that mission is the Outlander CUV, and as we can see from these spy photos, it's upcoming refresh is coming along nicely.
The Outlander was last redesigned for model year 2014, so it does feel a smidge early for a refresh. That said, thanks to a rather polarizing front fascia, we aren't totally surprised that Mitsu has gone to work so soon. Based on these spy shots, we wouldn't be totally surprised if the new Outlander borrowed the more attractive face of Outlander PHEV Concept-S, which was shown back in September during the Paris Motor Show.
It's impossible to tell if the rear of the car will borrow the huge, vehicle-spanning taillights of the Concept-S, but like the front end, we'd expect a fairly significant change to the back of the new Outlander. Our spies also captured a few shots of the cabin, although we don't see any dramatic differences from the current vehicle, aside from some different trim pieces.
Fri, 17 Oct 2014
Unfortunately, the government's list still contains errors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an updated list of vehicle models that it's urging owners to repair under the mushrooming Takata airbag inflator recall. The latest version adds vehicles from new automakers like Subaru and Ford that are missing from the original announcement, and it also removes erroneous entries from General Motors, leaving only the 2005 Saab 9-2X (a reskinned Subaru WRX), and the 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibe, a joint project with Toyota.
It's normal for parents to get frustrated with their kids sometimes. Moms and dads have high hopes for the success of their brood, and when the youngsters let them down, it hurts. That's not an excuse to be destructive, though. Especially not to the point of destroying a Mitsubishi Montero Sport with an Xbox 360 like in this video.
The clip claims to be about a dad upset that his kid doesn't have a job and stays home playing video games. The guy takes his anger out not just on the console but also his son's car. The Mitsubishi definitely takes its fair share of the punishment here even after the Xbox is broken.
If this were real, it would be a pretty horrifying fight to watch. But while we can't be entirely certain, we're almost positive that this argument is completely staged for a number of reasons. The major one is that the same uploader also has videos with millions of total views of the same "Psycho Dad" dropping an Xbox in a pool, running over games with a lawn mower and taking an axe to a laptop. Furthermore, just looking at the clip itself, people don't generally wait for the other person to stop talking when yelling at each other. It also seems a bit suspicious that the kid directly speaks to the audience at one point.
Mitsubishi is recalling 165,923 vehicles in the US because it's possible for the drive belt to detach from their engines, potentially causing a stall. Specifically, the campaign covers 2008-2011 model-year examples of the Lancer, Lancer Evolution (pictured above) and Outlander as well as the 2009-2011 Lancer Sportback and 2011 Outlander Sport. All of the affected models use some version of the brand's 4B1 four-cylinder engine.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the engine pulley can wear causing the drive belt to slip off. If this happens, the alternator, cooling fan and hydraulic power steering can all stop working, and obviously, any of those things could make driving unsafe. However, if the belt detaches, then a warning light should come on in the cabin.
To fix the problem, Mitsubishi dealers will replace the original belt with a redesigned rubber part and will inspect the pulley. If worn, it'll also be replaced free of charge.
Sometimes you need a second chance to get things right. Technologically, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a pretty cool vehicle, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and additional electric motors providing more thrust. However, the CUV never really looked the part for all of its innovation. The Mitsubishi designers are taking another crack with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and the vehicle shows what a massive improvement some tweaks can make.
The most obvious of these changes is the completely different front end with a more vertical design. The headlights are reshaped with LED running lights outlining them, and the new airdam that puts a massive X right on the front grille in black and chrome with some more LEDs down below. The designers don't stop there and have a major revision to the rear with taillights running all the way across. Inside, there's black wood grain trim and leather seats.
The update takes the CUV from boring to somewhat exciting, and the even better news is that some of these updates might make it to a rumored refresh in 2016 that could even come here. Scroll down to watch Mitsubishi's teaser video for the Concept-S with more views of it and the company's full press release.
Stop us if you've heard this one: According to Autocar, the current generation will be the last Mitsubishi Evolution we will ever see.
That, while unfortunate for driving enthusiasts, is a reality we've had plenty of time to digest. The days of wanton fuel burning for the sake of speed and power will soon come to an end. But that doesn't mean the days of performance have to die, too. "Green is still fun to drive," said Mitsubishi UK boss Lance Bradley in a conversation with Autocar. "It's a challenge to make it fun, but not a particularly difficult one. Electric vehicle performance is very good."
So, should we expect a new hybrid sedan to take up the mantle left by the Evo? Not so much. The British magazine quotes Kanenori Okamoto of Mitsubishi as saying, "It will be replaced in spirit by an SUV with high performance," which will apparently incorporate lessons learned in the automaker's efforts at Pikes Peak. The Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III, which handily broke the EV record at the famed mountain course, will donate much of its high-performance, zero-emissions technology to the project, including its Super All Wheel Control four-wheel-drive system.
Mitsubishi is issuing a recall for the 2010-2014 i-MiEV that affects 1,810 units of the little electric car, because it's possible for the brake vacuum pump to stop working. If this happens, the result would be longer stopping distances, according to the company. The affected models were built between September 15, 2009, and March 25, 2014.
While this is just a single recall, there are actually two things that can cause this brake problem on the i-MiEV, according to Mitsubishi's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. First, bad programming in the EV-ECU could cause the system to "falsely judge that the relay contact point is stuck," according to the full NHTSA defect notice PDF. Second, the vacuum pump exhaust hole could be corroded and blocked due to being splashed with road salt. However, the company says that if either fault happens, the brake warning lamp would illuminate, and there would be an audible alarm.
Depending on which issue is affecting an owner's i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is going to reprogram the software, replace the pump or both. Scroll down to read the recall report from NHTSA.
People tend to get very set in their ways when it comes to the pronunciation of words. Just look at the endless debates over whether or not to say the final 'e' in Porsche (which you should in terms of correct German enunciation). Or the argument about whether to follow the British convention and give the 'u' in Jaguar a special delivery or to say the 'ua' diphthong as more of a 'w' sound, as usually happens in the US.
This short video doesn't answer either of those automotive questions, but it does allow a native Japanese speaker to demonstrate the accepted pronunciations for several, major automakers from the country. One benefit is that it clears up the occasional debate over whether Nissan should be said with a long or short 'i' sound. Also, listen closely to how the female host says Mazda as Matsuda, the way it's actually said in the language. Even if this doesn't change the way you enunciate these brands, at least now you know the accurate way in Japanese.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is rumored to finally come to the US next fall as a 2016 model. In the meantime, the Japanese brand is showing off a concept for an Outlander plug-in at the Paris Motor Show in October with a massive improvement in styling and material quality that the automaker calls the "Sporty and Sophisticated" design theme.
With just a nip and a tuck, Mitsubishi's stylists have made the Outlander PHEV look a whole lot better. Instead of the narrow, squinting look of the current model, the concept shows a more vertical design that puts a big X right on the front end. In the center, there is an updated version of the horizontal grille leading to reshaped headlights. The big changes are found somewhat lower, with an air dam that is much better integrated thanks to black and chrome accents to draw the eye. The company claims that the rear gets similar upgrades with new lights and shining trim running across the tailgate.
The improved styling gets carried inside, as well. According to Mitsubishi, the design features black wood grain trim and silver accents throughout the cabin, and the center console is inspired by Japanese black lacquer boxes. The seats are also covered in hand-stitched leather with horizontal ribs.