Dieselpoweron the­way

The wait goes on for a oil-burn­ing Out­lander, writes Stu­art Martin

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

Slook­ing for a diesel ver­sion of Mit­subishi’s pop­u­lar Out­lander SUV will be wait­ing a while longer, de­spite the com­pact all-ter­rain ma­chine pop­ping up in Europe with a com­pres­sion-ig­ni­tion driv­e­train.

The en­gine in the UK Out­lander is a 130kW/ 380Nm 2.2-litre unit sourced from French au­to­mo­tive gi­ant PSA, the par­ent com­pany of Peu­geot and Citroen.

It prom­ises strong torque and ex­cel­lent econ­omy and has the po­ten­tial to tap into a vein of surg­ing con­sumer in­ter­est in diesel en­gines here in Aus­tralia.

How­ever, the fact the diesel Out­lander is avail­able in Europe with only a man­ual or a dual clutch au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion means Mit­subishi Aus­tralia has put it on the back­burner un­til late next year.

Mit­subishi had pre­vi­ously looked at the PSA diesel driv­e­train for the Out­lander but de­cided it was too ex­pen­sive.

Mit­subishi Aus­tralia spokes­woman Lenore Fletcher says the com­pany was look­ing in-house for a diesel pow­er­plant with a choice of man­ual and au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

Fletcher says the diesel un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for Aus­tralian Out­landers would be sim­i­lar in ca­pac­ity to the PSA 2.2-litre mo­tor but de­rived from the same en­gine fam­ily as the 1.8-litre diesel en­gine that pow­ers the smaller SUV sib­ling, the ASX.

‘‘There’s a cou­ple of en­gines around but we are look­ing at get­ting our own turbo diesel en­gine go­ing into Out­lander, it some­thing we re­ally want to do,’’ Ms Fletcher says.

‘‘We’re still in­ter­ested but it may be some­thing that is a lit­tle fur­ther down the track.’’

Peu­geot uses the Out­lander as the ba­sis for its 4007 com­pact SUV, which is sold here with a 115kW/380Nm 2.2-litre diesel with the choice of a sixspeed DSG or a con­ven­tional man­ual gear­box.

Citroen also uses the Out­lander as the ba­sis for its C-Crosser, which is not yet on sale in Aus­tralia.

Ms Fletcher says the com­pany re­mains com­mit­ted to diesel for its com­pact SUVs but was un­able to set a time frame or say if a con­ven­tional au­to­matic or a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion would be com­ing to Aus­tralia.

‘‘It has al­ways been the way be­cause in Europe man­ual is the go,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s some­thing that we and a lot of our com­peti­tors have had to con- tend with in terms of the lack of avail­abil­ity of an au­to­matic.’’

The Out­lander range con­sists of two and four-wheel drive petrol mod­els us­ing a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der (with man­ual or CVT) or a three-litre V6 us­ing a six-speed au­to­matic.

On the back­burner: the Mit­subishi Out­lander is avail­able as a diesel in Europe.

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