Mitsubishi is finally getting some of its mojo back with its redesigned — and competitive — Outlander. The company reportedly plans to build on that momentum with a high-performance variant of the SUV, bolstering its newly revived Ralliart performance division in the process.
Wait, a non-luxury performance SUV? Well, if any company can pull it off it would be Mitsubishi. It has the history of its WRC victories and Paris-Dakar Rally dominance to build on. Nearly its entire racing heritage has been forged on dirt, not tarmac, so a hotted-up Mitsu SUV doesn't seem so farfetched.
According to Japan's Best Car magazine, the all-out Outlander will be based on the Outlander Vision Ralliart concept shown over a year ago at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. The model will supposedly be called the Outlander PHEV Ralliart, and will feature extensive tuning to set it apart from the standard version.
Best Car reports that the chassis will be reinforced to increase body rigidity. Mitsubishi will also strengthen the suspension and visually distinguish it with unique aero bits. What that may be isn't specified, but the Auto Salon concept had wider fenders in front and rear, a new front grille and bumper, and big diffuser beneath a redesigned rear fascia. The concept also came with larger rotors and six-piston calipers in front.
The Outlander PHEV Ralliart's drivetrain, says Best Car, will based on the 2.4-liter plug-in hybrid setup on the base car. However, combined power between gasoline and hybrid systems will total an estimated 286 horsepower.
Finally, the magazine predicts that the Outlander PHEV Ralliart will arrive in 2024. Japanese pricing is approximated at ¥5.5 to 6.1 million, which converts to $40,300 to $44,700 at current exchange rates, but we expect it to be closer to the high end of that range.
With crossovers and SUVs as the de facto car these days, it was only a matter of time before mainstream marques began souping up such daily drivers. If Honda can create an 800-horsepower CR-V race car, a sports Outlander seems only natural. We'll just be here waiting for the first crossover racing league.