August launch for ASX
Mitsubishi has a new compact off-roader, writes Neil McDonald
BUSINESS types understand the acronym ASX — Australian Stock Exchange. Mitsubishi has massaged the term for its new off-roader, calling it the Active Sports Crossover, or ASX.
The latest member of the Mitsubishi team arrives in showrooms in August. It will compete against the Kia Sportage, Hyundai ix35, Holden Captiva 5, Suzuki Grand Vitara and Nissan Dualis in the ultra-competitive sub-$30,000 compact off-roader segment.
Mitsubishi Australia president and CEO Masahiko Takahashi says it will be sold as a manoeuvrable city car that could bring new buyers to the Mitsubishi family.
‘‘It has the added benefit of being very smart, especially in terms of the technology that drives its engineering, design and all-wheeldrive ability,’’ he says.
The ASX was born as the cX concept at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The finished product has links to both the Outlander and Lancer Evolution X and borrows the ‘‘family’’ look front end.
It’s 345mm shorter than the Outlander and 200g lighter. The production car also uses a onepiece hatch instead of the twopiece doors on the concept.
Japanese versions are powered by 1.8 or 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.
Though local specifications are yet to be released, both petrol and diesel engines, as well as front or all-wheel-drive versions are tipped.
Takahashi says as an entry offroader, the ASX could drive strong sales to supplement the Triton, Outlander and Pajero. It will be pitched into the profitable compact off-roader segment, which is experiencing enormous growth.