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