Mitsubishi ramps up hybrid and electric plans, new compact SUV and Toyota Kluger rival coming

The Japanese car maker plans 16 new models in the next five years – including nine hybrid and electric vehicles – in a plan to sell “electrified” cars only by 2035.

Mitsubishi has announced plans to refresh its ageing model line-up with 16 new models globally in the next five years – including a wave of hybrid and electric vehicles.

A presentation given to investors overnight reveals a goal for hybrid and electric cars to account for 50 per cent of Mitsubishi sales by Japanese financial year (FY) 2030 – and 100 per cent of global sales five years later, mostly comprised of full battery-powered vehicles.

Nine of the 16 new models by 2028 are due by the end of the 2025 Japanese financial year – or March 2026 – including at least two new hybrids, and two electric vehicles.

Among the first of the new vehicles is the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton ute, which is due for unveiling in the coming months – followed by the new Pajero Sport four-wheel-drive in 2025.

By 2028, Mitsubishi aims to launch nine “electrified” vehicles (dubbed ‘xEVs’) – comprised of five hybrid/plug-in hybrids, and four electric vehicles – including its first battery-electric ute.

Included in the plans is a new, mystery “three-row SUV” planned for sale in markets Mitsubishi calls “growth drivers and leverage regions” – such as South-East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia.

However, there is no guarantee vehicles available in these regions will be sold in every single market within them – so models sold in countries such as Thailand or Argentina may not reach Australia, for example.

This vehicle – which will be sold with petrol and/or diesel power, and no hybrid option – is distinct from the new Pajero Sport ute-based 4WD, suggesting it is a car-derived vehicle akin to a Toyota Kluger or Mazda CX-9.

The plans also show a new “two-row” SUV planned for2024 or 2025 with hybrid power, ahead of an electric version due to follow by the 2028 deadline.

It is unclear how large this new model is – and if it will be the long-awaited replacement for the small Mitsubishi ASX, which turns 13 years old this year – however teaser images indicate it is a small to mid-size vehicle.

It is understood the upcoming production version of last year’s Mitsubishi XFC small SUV concept may not be engineered for Australian safety standards, meaning this new mystery SUV – which is a distinct vehicle from the XFC – could reach local showrooms.

Other vehicles shown in the presentation to investors include an expansion of Mitsubishi’s model-sharing deal with Renault and Nissan, its partners in a technical alliance since 2017.

This has so far spawned rebadged versions of the Renault Captur city SUV and Clio city car as the new Mitsubishi ASX and Colt respectively – but it will expand to two more models, based on a Renault and a Nissan respectively, both with electric power.

A teaser image shows one will may be a compact, upright car in Japan’s ‘kei’ category of city cars, while the other looks to be a small hatchback or SUV. It is unclear which vehicle comes from which brand.

The company confirmed the Nissan-based model will be sold in North America, as well as Europe. It is unclear if it could expand to Australia.

The Renault-based Mitsubishi ASX, included in the 16 new models by 2028.

Interestingly, the presentation also confirms the Renault-based ASX will expand from Europe – where it was previously planned to be sold exclusively – to Mitsubishi’s “growth drivers and leverage regions”, which could open the door to an Australian arrival.

Alongside the future model plans, Mitsubishi announced it is targeting 1.1 million annual sales by Japanese financial year 2025 – up about 10 per cent from 2022’s sales.

By financial year 2030, the company aims to increase sales in regions it calls “growth drivers” – South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand – by 42 per cent, and account for the majority of Mitsubishi’s global sales.

In 2022 Mitsubishi reported 76,991 vehicles as sold in Australia, up 13.7 per cent on the previous year – but it lost its third place on the sales leaderboard to Kia by about 1400 cars.

MORE:Search Used Mitsubishi Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used Mitsubishi Cars for Sale
Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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