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2015 Mitsubishi Pajero and ASX style hints

The next-generation Mitsubishi Pajero is on the way -- perhaps as early as next year -- along with Triton and Lancer. But we could be getting an early look at the SUV's styling with a trio of concept vehicles the manufacturer says point to the direction the brand's development and manufacturing will take in the near future.

The Concept GC-PHEV, Concept XR-PHEV and the Concept AR will be unveiled at the Tokyo motor show later this month, revealing new design explorations and technology that could appear on future vehicles.

The 'Grand Cruiser' Concept GC-PHEV large SUV hints at the possible direction for the coming Pajero replacement, running the Japanese manufacturer's full-time all-wheel drive set-up and showcasing new safety and communication technology. Under the bonnet is a plug-in hybrid system with an electric motor and high-capacity battery pack plus a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine, with an eight-speed auto.

The smaller 'Cross Runner' Concept XR-PHEV is a compact SUV with possibilities for the next-generation ASX or Outlander -- both of which would have to wait for the 2014 update to the Lancer on which they're based. The front-wheel drive plug-in is powered by a turbocharged 1.1-litre direct-injected engine, again matched to a small high-efficiency motor and high-capacity battery.

The final of the trio, the small hybrid 'Active Runner' Concept AR is a multi-purpose/peoplemover design, also carrying a turbo direct-injected 1.1-litre engine and electric motor.

More details on the concepts' specification -- and perhaps future plans for them -- will be revealed around show time, where the concepts will be among the 17 vehicles on the Mitsubishi stand.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott