Mitsubishi will reveal a new a new plug-in hybrid MPV concept at the Tokyo motor show – and it’s on the cards for Australia.
Called the Mitsubishi D:X Concept, the rugged-looking people mover design study is said to “inspire a sense of adventure” and embody “Mitsubishi Motors-ness”. It’s an early look at the next Delica people mover – and the production version could come to Australia.
“The Concept embodies Mitsubishi’s adventurous spirit with a modern design, strong and safe underpinnings, PHEV drivetrain and Super All-Wheel Control. It takes the hallmarks that Mitsubishi is renowned for and advances them into the future,” a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Australia told CarExpert.
“Mitsubishi Motors Australia has acquired a current-generation Delica to assess dealer, customer and media reaction to the concept, to gain a deep understanding of its potential in the Australian market in future. We will continue to evaluate ahead of the next-generation’s introduction.”
The company says the D:X Concept features a plug-in hybrid drive system with Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) electric all-wheel drive, pointing to a version of the latest Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV’s drivetrain.
It would be a significant development for the Delica nameplate, given the current model in Japan is still running Mitsubishi’s 107kW/380Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, which is an extensively revised version of the oiler once used in the ASX and Outlander SUVs.
The Mitsubishi D:X Concept is pitched as an adventure-ready vehicle with space for many, featuring a raised ride height, chunky plastic cladding and “large diameter” tyres. Front and rear skid plates, in addition to side step protectors, claim to offer “excellent road performance that enables safe, secure ride even on rough road conditions”.
Large windows including a wraparound windscreen panel offer a panoramic view out of the D:X Concept, and the front bonnet treatment is actually see-through for better visibility – Mitsubishi calls it an “aerial cockpit”.
The concept features six individual “panoramic seats” which can be independently be “moved up and down for an optimal seating position”.
All pews can also rotate too, which Mitsubishi claims offers “an unprecedented driving experience as if floating in the air”. The front seats can be rotated to a rear-facing position to “create an interior space where all occupants can enjoy conversation”.
Tan leather adorns the instrument panel, seats and steering wheel, contrasted with metal trim in Alumite Grey. While not detailed in the media release, the lower portion of the ‘see-through hood’ appears to offer augmented reality (AR) functions which overlay navigation graphics over the view ahead, in lieu of a conventional navigation display.
Mitsubishi says the D:X Concept offers an artificial intelligence (AI) concierge which “provides information on routes to destinations, weather conditions and other information to help ensure a safe and stress-free driving experience”.
Also detailed in Mitsubishi’s media release is a new-generation audio system co-developed with Yamaha, which has speakers mounted in each individual headrest “to provide powerful, three-dimensional sound”.
“Passengers can enjoy a quality, immersive music experience, heightening the excitement of adventure as well as providing soothing comfort during breaks,” Mitsubishi says.
While it’s unclear when the D:X Concept will morph into a production Delica – or whatever it will be called – it can’t be too far away given the current generation’s advancing age.
If you think the ASX is old, the Delica is ancient.
First launched in 2007, the fifth-generation Delica D:5 is based on the brand’s GS platform which is shared with the ASX, Eclipse Cross and previous-generation Outlander and has genetic links to various Fiat Chrysler models from years past.
Mitsubishi’s largest people mover was most recently facelifted in 2019, sporting the brand’s ‘Dynamic Shield’ design language to better resemble the wider line-up.
Beyond the Japanese market, the Delica D:5 has also been sold in Indonesia and Thailand. As noted earlier, a current-generation vehicle has recently toured Mitsubishi’s Australian operations network for an evaluation project – could Mitsubishi be coming for a slice of the Kia Carnival’s pie?
Joining the Concept D:X in Tokyo will be the new-generation Triton dual-cab ute, marking the pickup’s Japanese debut.
The Triton is due to launch in Japan in “early 2024”, around the same time the next-gen dual-cab is due to land in the Australian market – currently confirmed for February.
If you need a refresher, the 2024 Mitsubishi Triton will be available with a new 150kW/470Nm 2.4-litre bi-turbo diesel when it lands Down Under, with both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and 4WD options available – the latter offering two variations.
The Easy Select 4WD system available on lower grades offers 2H (rear-wheel drive), 4H (locked centre differential), and 4L (low range) modes. Models with the Super Select 4WD-II system, in contrast, have 2H (rear-wheel drive), 4H (full-time four-wheel), 4HLc (locked centre differential), and 4LLc (locked centre differential with low range).
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