28 February 2005

A pair of striking Mitsubishi-badged concepts will adorn two stands at next week’s Geneva Motor Show. The more dramatic of the two is this: Nessie – Italdesign-Giugiaro’s vehicle which will be on the Italian company’s stand. The 4x4 was developed in conjunction with the Japanese carmaker, and combines V8 power with a hydrogen fuel system in an attempt to tackle growing anti-off-roader sentiment.

Italdesign used Mitsubishi hardware to create the fully-running concept car, the styling of which uses elements from existing Mitsubishi models as well as the company’s World Rally cars.

The second concept is Mitsubishi’s Colt coupé-cabriolet, which will be virtually unchanged when it returns in production form within 18 months as a close rival to Peugeot’s 206CC. Like the Peugeot, the 2+2 Colt gets a folding metal roof and, despite being based on the five-door Colt’s platform, will only have space for small children in the rear seats. However, that’s more room than in the Vauxhall Tigra, which is a strict two-seater. The engine range should mirror the three-door Colt hatchback that goes on sale in a week’s time, which means the 1.5-litre 147bhp turbocharged engine will top the range. Although the production version’s name is yet to be confirmed, expect the drop-top Colt to arrive in UK dealers in the first half of 2006.

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