That was weird. At the end of July 2020, Mitsubishi announced in a short announcement that it was “freezing” the introduction of new models to the European market. Although the current ones were to remain in the offer, such a move meant a slow departure from the Old Continent, a kind of Mitsexit. Because when the production cycle of existing models would inevitably come to an end, what would dealers be exhibiting in showrooms?
The effects of this “freezing” Mitsubishi is still feeling today. It is thanks to them that as much as half of the European range of this brand will soon be modernized Renault – just like the Mitsubishi ASX II debuting in Poland in March 2023 (i.e. the changed Renault Captur) and the seventh European generation of Mitsubishi Colt, which will hit our market in October 2023 r. and is a derivative of…
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The new Mitsubishi Colt: why does it look almost like a Renault Clio?
The next decision caused even more confusion than the previous one. Here is Mitsubishi turned off the freezer and decided that new models will go to Europe.
But where to get them all of a sudden, since everything had been frozen before? After all, this is why work on adapting the long-awaited fourth generation Mitsubishi Outlander to European regulations and tastes has been suspended. After some time, they were resumed, but due to this slip, Outlander IV will not reach us until 2024, although the American version was presented in October 2021.
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Thus, in 2022, Mitsubishi was practically left with two models in Europe: Space Star and Eclipse Cross. For comparison: in 1999 there were as many as 16, 10 more than BMW. But in 1999, in Western Europe alone, Mitsubishi sold almost four times more cars than in the entire Old Continent in 2022 (data: JATO Dynamics for “Automotive News Europe”).
The situation was unusual. So unusual steps were taken.
New Mitsubishi Colt
As I found out, Mitsubishi decided to quickly supplement the range with new models. And since today the design of a car takes at least two years, it was not an option – the Japanese reached for two ready-made products of their partner from the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance. And so, the new generation Mitsubishi ASX is a derivative of the Renault Captura II, and the seventh European incarnation of the Mitsubishi Colt – the modernized fifth Renault Clio. Haters probably can’t keep up with producing stupid memes, but this strategy makes sense.
Mitsubishi simply had to quickly expand the range. It would take too long to build the Colt VII and ASX II on their own, and in the meantime sales of the brand would probably continue to decline. It would take too long to even distinguish the ASX from the Captur and the Colt from the Clio more clearly. In addition, customers do not seem to mind such a similarity – demand for the new Mitsubishi ASX already exceeds the manufacturer’s expectations. In addition, the Japanese company has tailored the ASX and Colt offers to the well-known tastes of its own customers, who value a simple range, extensive standard equipment and a longer warranty. What else will they find in the new Colt?
The new Mitsubishi Colt VII: the first Colt in Europe for 11 years
The first Mitsubishi Colt debuted in 1962, its first European generation – in 1978. In 2012, the Colt disappeared from the Old Continent, replaced by the Mitsubishi Space Star. According to my information, Space Star was deemed too small to be named Colt (which in English means foal anyway). Now the Colt is back, and it is indeed much larger than the Space Star, even if both reside in the B segment.
Contrary to appearances, Colt will not play back on Space Star and will not displace it from the range. Both models will be offered in parallel, because there is room for both in the offer. The new Mitsubishi Colt is 405.3 cm long, 179.8 cm wide and 143.9 cm high, so it is 20.8 cm longer and 13.3 cm wider than the Space Star (and 5.1 cm lower). . In addition, the Colt has a 13.3 cm longer wheelbase. And the trunk of the novelty completely outclasses the Space Star. In the Colt, it has a base capacity of 391 liters, in the Space Star – 235 liters.
New Mitsubishi Colt: how is it different from Renault Clio?
For the first time in its 61-year history, the Mitsubishi Colt is based on a French car. This is a slight irony of fate, because before that Colt served as the basis for other models (e.g. in the 70s and 80s in the USA, thanks to an agreement between the Japanese and the Americans, the modernized Colt was sold as the Dodge Colt).
New Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt VII is based on the CMF-B architecture, the Renault Clio V platform. The Colt VII will be produced at the Bursa plant (Turkey), one of the Renault Clio V plants. From the outside and inside, the seventh Colt looks quite like the fifth Clio. Body differences basically come down to:
LED daytime running lights;
the corners of the central air intake in the front bumper (they are more rounded on the Colt);
reversing camera housing (it is easier to see in Colt).
The dashboard of the new Mitsubishi Colt has two large screens: the instrument cluster (it can be 7 or 10 inches diagonal) and the central one (7 or 9.3 inches). For an extra charge, 9-speaker Bose audio equipment will be included.
And what’s inside the new Colt? Known from Renault Clio V, the dashboard is ergonomic, and the glove compartment in front of the passenger is really large. The front seats make a good impression, and a person with a height of 190 cm will also fit in the back – but they will have a limited amount of legroom, and their head will sometimes rub against the headliner. The trunk is excellent: wide, deep and regular in shape.
New Mitsubishi Colt
New Mitsubishi Colt: engines, power, since when in Poland
The seventh generation of the European Mitsubishi Colt will initially be offered in two 3-cylinder combustion versions (1.0/66 hp and 1.0 turbo/91 hp) and a 143 hp hybrid variant. As I found out, the company is not planning an electric variant.
Mitsubishi Colt will be placed between Space Star and ASX and will hit the Polish market in October 2023. Unfortunately, it does not seem to stay on it for more than four or five years.
The fate of the Mitsubishi Colt VII and ASX II is closely related to the production cycle of the current generations of Renault Clio and Captur, and these models are already in middle age. Their successors should appear in 2026. Keeping the predecessors in production only for the needs of Mitsubishi may not be profitable then. So it seems that after 2026, maybe in 2027, we will also get to know the successors of the two Mitsubishis just presented: Colt VII and ASX II. Both will probably still be based on Renault platforms, but from the outside and inside we will not see any kinship.
Anyway, the European range of Mitsubishi is only about to grow. In 2024, the fourth generation of Outlander will finally make its debut, which will become the brand’s flagship car on the Old Continent. In 2025, the offer will be complemented by an electric car, probably an SUV. The company does not intend to introduce new names – after all, it has enough classic and well-recognised names. So don’t be surprised when one day – and sooner than we think – the Lancer will return.
And Lancer Evolution? As I found out, the company is not planning the 11th generation of this sports car for now. After the Colt VII and ASX II, there will also be no more Mitsubishis that look so much like Renault from the outside. This is really the last time.
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