2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Preview
By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009
- Based on current Outlander crossover
- Design inspired by Lancer Evolution sedan
- Reshaped bumpers, headlamps, side mirrors, side sills, fenders and hood
- Enhanced, more powerful V-6 engine
- Upgraded shifting program with Idle Neutral Logic
- Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system
- Shorter, stiffer suspension
- 19-inch OZ Racing wheels; Brembo brakes
- FUSE Handsfree Media Gateway system
Building on the success of its current Outlander crossover utility vehicle (CUV), Mitsubishi recently announced at the New York International Auto Show the Outlander GT Prototype, an all-new design intended to improve upon the performance and technology found in the current Outlander. And while Mitsubishi refers to the Outlander GT Prototype as a "design study," the automaker also states that the vehicle "infuses performance and design inspiration from Mitsubishi's Lancer sport sedans and provides clear indicators of the future of Outlander." That makes it a pretty sure bet the Outlander GT will see production for the 2010 model year.
According to a Mitsubishi executive, the Outlander GT Prototype is "packed with technology, performance and premium features that are uncommon in the compact SUV class." Borrowing both design and technical inspiration from other current Mitsubishi models, the Outlander GT Prototype features an enhanced V-6 engine, upgraded shifting program, a technologically advanced all-wheel-drive system, a sport-tuned suspension with upgraded wheels and brakes, and several advanced in-vehicle technologies.
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Mitsubishi proudly touts the fact that the Lancer Evolution sedan was the design inspiration for the Outlander GT Prototype, in particular the car's "jet fighter" grille. Compared to the current Outlander, the Outlander GT Prototype incorporates new design elements including a reshaped front bumper, side mirrors, fenders and hood. Also, reshaped bi-Xenon HID headlamps, a new rear bumper and side sills, plus a bold polished finish on the already standard aluminum roof panel accentuate the Outlander GT's sporty appeal.
On the inside, the Outlander GT Prototype's design has been freshened with the addition of grained synthetic leather, double stitching and chrome accents. Additional Lancer Evolution-inspired design cues include aluminum racing style pedals and a sport-type steering wheel. Also featured is a new, high-contrast, 3.5-inch, full-color, LCD gauge cluster.
Though it doesn't have a new engine, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype benefits from improvements to the all-aluminum, 3.0-liter V-6 engine currently found in the Outlander XLS, among them increased air intake plus optimized camshaft timing and compression ratio. The engine enhancements raise maximum output by 10 horsepower, for a total of 230 horsepower, giving the Outlander GT Prototype an improved torque curve for more responsive city driving and enhanced fuel economy and emissions, the manufacturer claims. To further increase fuel economy, the Outlander GT Prototype features an upgraded shifting program and Idle Neutral Logic, which automatically, and smoothly, shifts into neutral during vehicle standstill, Mitsubishi says. It re-engages at the slightest lift of the foot off the brake pedal.
Leveraging Mitsubishi's experience in off-road and rally racing, the Outlander GT Prototype features a Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system that has previously only been available on the Lancer Evolution. More complex than a standard 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system, S-AWC is a comprehensive system that improves handling, traction and stability, according to Mitsubishi. Using a first-in-class active front limited-slip differential and an electronically controlled 4WD coupling, S-AWC can prevent wheel slip between front-to-rear and side-to-side, providing greater traction through all types of terrain and inclement weather, including ice, snow and rain, the automaker says.
The Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype also features a shorter, stiffer suspension for improved handling and a more aggressive look. Nineteen-inch OZ Racing wheels and large Brembo brakes complete the performance upgrades.
While the company did not formally announce safety equipment to be featured on the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT, buyers can expect at least the same level of protection as offered on the current, 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander: advanced, dual-stage front air bags for the driver and right front passenger; side-impact air bags for front-seat occupants; roll-sensing side curtain air bags; active front headrests; stability control; ABS; a tire-pressure-monitoring system; a security alarm system; and an anti-theft engine immobilizer.
An all-new FUSE Handsfree Media Gateway system in the Outlander GT Prototype will offer greater convenience and reduced distractions by combining advanced voice-recognition capabilities with Bluetooth 2.0-enabled hands-free calling and audio playback. Automatic phonebook transfer and multiple phone support are included, as is control of the onboard navigation system. Full iPod and USB music device charging and playback are featured as well for portable music compatibility.
The Outlander GT Prototype also features a variety of new electronic accessory upgrades, such as Navteq RDS real-time traffic, a more powerful Rockford Fosgate in-car entertainment system, and a Total Security Alarm System, which utilizes an accurate ultrasonic wave motion sensor for improved security and detection.
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