The future of the Mitsubishi Mirage looks in doubt beyond next year, with new Australian Design Rules set to claim another victim in the automotive market.

Update, 6/12/2021 5:05pm: Mitsubishi Australia has confirmed production of the Mirage of our marked has ended due to the new ADR 85/00 rules.

“This is due to the introduction of ADR 85/00 which comprises stringent new side-impact safety regulations focused on poles and trees, and came into effect as a mandatory compliance requirement on vehicles manufactured after 1 November 2021. This means the remaining Mirage stocks will be the last of the current model,” a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Motors Australia told CarExpert.

To be clear, existing Mirage stocks are fully compliant with all applicable ADRs in terms of their sale in Australia.  We expect stocks to last a few months, dependent on the sales rate.

Speaking with CarExpert, a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Motors Australia indicated current Mirage stock was manufactured before the November 1 deadline, and should last well into 2022 – but there aren’t any plans to engineer changes to the vehicle’s structure to comply with ADR 85.

“All remaining Mirage stock was manufactured prior to the ADR 85/00 deadline of 1 November. They may be sold after the implementation date, however the date of manufacturer shown on the compliance label will indicate a manufactured date prior to 1 November 2021,” the spokesperson said.

How long that stock lasts depends on demand, but considering the Mirage outsold the long-reigning king of the micro-car class – the Kia Picanto – in November (649 v 511 units), that supply could dry up sooner rather than later.

So far in 2021 (to November 30), Mitsubishi has sold 1732 Mirages, up 202.8 per cent on 2020’s 572-unit figure for the same period. While it beat the Picanto in November’s monthly figures, it trails the Kia’s 6110 registrations through to the end of November, which is more than three times the Mitsubishi’s market share.

ADR 85/00 requires new vehicles to meet stricter rules around protection from side-impact collisions with narrow objects like poles and trees. Australia is the first market to implement these regulations and led the development of this global vehicle standard.

The rules came into effect for all-new cars and SUVs from 1 November, 2017, and light commercial vehicles from 1 July, 2018.

Vehicles already on sale were only recently required to comply – from 1 November, 2021 production – and companies that don’t make the necessary engineering and production changes have been forced to pull models from sale. Casualties already include the Lexus IS, RC and CT, the Nissan GT-R, the Alpine A110.

It’s unclear whether an all-new Mitsubishi micro car will be introduced at a later date, though recent reports point to the company utilising existing Renault-Nissan platforms for ageing models like the ASX and possibly the Mirage.

Should that prove to be true, the Mirage successor would likely draw upon the CMF-B platform that currently underpins the current Nissan Micra and Renault Clio, though those two models sit in the size class above.

For now though, if you want to get your hands on one of Australia’s cheapest new cars, we suggest you get in quick.

MORE: 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage price and specs
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James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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