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Geneva debut for Mitsubishi ‘Qashqai rival’

Compact SUV to reflect influence of new designer.

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Mitsubishi will debut an all-new compact SUV at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Few details of the new car are currently available, though industry observers expect it to be a direct rival to the segment-leading Nissan Qashqai.

Read more Mitsubishi news and reviews at The Car Expert

According to the Japanese brand the car will be the first of a new generation of vehicles from Mitsubishi. It is described as a ‘sporty, coupe-like SUV’ that will sit between the current Mitsubishi ASX and Outlander models in showrooms to broaden the brand’s model range and attract new customers.

   

Mitsubishi says that the new car is ‘sharper in its expression than a conventional coupe’, with ‘highly chamfered contours, a wedge-shaped belt line and a distinctive V-line in the rear quarter stemming from the forward-slanted C-pillar and the chunky, muscular rear fenders.’

Influence of new designer

The newcomer is expected to show the influence on Mitsubishi styling by new head of design Tsunehiro Kunimoto. He joined the brand in 2014 from Nissan, where he had been involved in many major launches including the Juke SUV.

Geneva debut for Mitsubishi 'Qashqai rival' 1
New SUV could reflect styling of Mitsubishi XR-PHEV concept of 2015.

One of Kunimoto’s first moves at Mistubishi was to set up a European design studio and the image of the new car suggests a distinct move away from the box-like look of previous Mitsubishi SUVs.

Industry watchers also expect the car to reflect the look of the XR-PHEV concept, seen most recently at the 2015 Geneva show.

Mitsubishi registrations in the UK slid by almost 20 per cent in 2016, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders. A total of 18,237 new Mitsubishi models were registered giving the brand 0.68 per cent of the UK market, compared to 0.86 per cent in 2015.

Read more Mitsubishi news and reviews at The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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