The Mitsubishi Outlander will form the first part of the firm’s comeback strategy in the North American market, following its US launch at the Los Angeles motor show

The SUV, launched in Europe in 2011, will form a crucial part of Mitsubishi’s plan to increase sales by an ambitious 45 per cent next year. Mitsubishi is currently on track to sell 55,000 cars in the US, and is aiming for 80,000 by 2014.

The new Outlander is expected to make up 33,000 of those sales – the current model sold just over 5000 units in the first nine months of this year. 

In the US, the Outlander will be available with one of two petrol engines - a 2.4-litre four-cylinder coupled to a CVT gearbox, or a 3.0-litre V6 driving through a six-speed auto. The plug-in hybrid Outlander will follow the petrol powered model in early 2014, while the Thai-built Mirage will go on sale in September of next year. 

Dan Stevens