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Outlander to 'open up' fleet market for Mitsubishi

Date: 22 March 2012   |   Author:

The new Mitsubishi Outlander is set to offer significant new fleet opportunities for the brand, with bosses aiming for a sub-130g/km emissions figure for the large off-roader, compared with the current model's best of 162g/km.

Powered by a 150hp 2.2-litre diesel, the new model will be on sale by the end of the year. "The Outlander is a big opportunity - it's targeted at below 130g/km, which would be astonishing for a seven-seat 4x4," Mitsubishi Motors UK boss Lance Bradley told BusinessCar.

"We're hoping for 130g/km but anything near that will dramatically open up the business car market for us."

Bradley claimed the increased interior quality will also attract new drivers. "The car can bring new people in. To me it seems a more upmarket car," he continued. "With a more premium feel and lower emissions it opens up new markets - premium buyers and company car drivers."

Mitsubishi is also positioning itself as a leader in the fledgling electric vehicle market. Having been the first mainstream manufacturer to market with the i-Miev pure-electric city car, the firm is going to add two plug-in hybrids in the next 12 months, one based on the new Outlander.

Bradley is negotiating with Mitsubishi's factory regarding the pricing for the plug-in Outlander.

"I'm happy with the pricing on the diesel, we're just talking about the premium on the hybrid," he revealed. "You can price it to recover the investment cost quickly and no one buys it, or price it to establish ourselves in the market and lots of people buy it."

The firm is targeting an emissions figure of sub-50g/km and a 500-mile range, the first 30 of which would be on electric power only.

The Outlander will arrive around 12 months from now, behind the crossover ASX plug-in hybrid due late this year.

The ASX will have a shorter range due to battery packaging reasons, but Bradley confirmed both models will be eligible for the Government's £5000 EV grant.

A replacement for the i-Miev is likely to follow, although the current car has another couple of years on sale yet.

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