After 12 long years there will be a new Mitsubishi ASX, but three-diamond fans here shouldn’t pop their champagne corks just yet.
According to the company’s French division, the new ASX unveiled overnight is “designed specifically for the European market”.
It’s unclear what plans Mitsubishi has for the ASX/RVR/Outlander Sport model sold in the rest of the world. Launched in 2010, the car we know as the ASX has been through four facelifts so far.
If the new Euro ASX looks familiar, that’s because it’s a very lightly reworked Renault Captur.
Up front the key change is a new grille insert with chevron-like styling elements flanking the Mitsubishi badge.
The headlights are carried over from the Captur and thanks to their L-shaped driving light hooks, Mitsubishi is able to claim the new ASX retains the company’s signature Dynamic Shield design.
For the lower bumpers at both ends Mitsubishi has opted for black plastic instead of Renault’s silver trim. Plug-in hybrid models have badges that look to be pilfered straight from the Outlander.
At the back, the reversing camera is no longer hidden by the Renault badge, while the Captur lettering has been replaced by Mitsubishi lettering.
Inside the modifications seem limited to revised badges and (probably) infotainment graphics.
Like the Captur, the Euro ASX will be available with either a 7.0-inch landscape or 9.3-inch portrait infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Depending on the trim level, the instrument cluster features either analog dials with a 4.2- or 7.0-inch display, or a fully digital 10.0-inch instrumentation screen.
Under the bonnet there are at least four drivetrain choices available: a base 1.0-litre three-cylinder, a mild hybrid 1.3-litre turbo, a 1.6-litre hybrid, and a 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid with a 10.5kWh battery.
The new Euro ASX will be built alongside the Captur in Renault’s factory in Valladolid, Spain.
Today’s ASX isn’t the first nor will it be the last Mitsubishi sourced from Renault. Australia got a taste of the action in 2020 when Mitsubishi launched the Express, a badge-engineered Renault Trafic. It wasn’t a success, and the van was axed earlier this year.
Europeans can look forward to a new Colt next year, which will be a thinly disguised version of the Renault Clio hatch.
As part of the ‘leader-follower’ model unveiled for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in 2020, the three automakers chose markets and fields of expertise where each one was meant to lead, and the others were to follow.
Under this plan, Mitsubishi was to concentrate on developing economies and markets in South-East Asia, such as Australia and Indonesia, where it has a big market presence.
With its core technical expertise being plug-in hybrid vehicles, as opposed to pure EVs, Mitsubishi Motors announced it would withdraw from the UK and Europe.
The company quickly backtracked, stating it would stay in Europe – but not the UK – and would soon launch two new models built by Renault.
The Captur-based ASX marks a reversal of roles for Mitsubishi ASX, which was sold for five years by Renault’s French rivals, the PSA Group, as the Citroen C4 Aircross and Peugeot 4008.
These two models were stopgaps as the PSA Group grappled with its financial problems and worked to flesh out its, then, meagre crossover offerings.
These two cars shared showroom space with the Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-Zero, badge-engineered iterations of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric hatch.