27 September 2004

This sharp-looking mini-MPV is Mitsubishi’s ‘Colt Plus’, which will be launched in Japan later this year. Sources say that it is based on the Colt, but has a taller and wider body. Autocar has been told that it is ‘dynamically packaged to try and get away from the regular, van-like MPV look’.

A decision will be taken in the next few weeks whether to re-engineer the car (including fitting diesels) for Europe, though some at Mitsubishi think that the current Colt will cover the ‘needs of most of buyers of compact MPVs’.

Autocar has also learnt that the next-generation 2006 Shogun will be billed as a ‘proper SUV’. According to one source, Mitsubishi will resist the trend towards lighter, more road-friendly monocoque construction because ‘we know our customers want to go off-road’. It’s reckoned that other firms’ movement away from separate-chassis SUVs will increase the Shogun’s appeal to serious off-roader drivers.

However the next Shogun Sport – also due in 2006 – will be based on the Lancer car platform. Both Shoguns will get more flamboyant designs and special attention will be given to improving the quality and ambience of the cabins.

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