Au­gust launch for ASX

Mit­subishi has a new com­pact off-roader, writes Neil McDon­ald

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

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.

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