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2022 Mitsubishi Airtrek revealed: Why Australia misses out on Mitsubishi's first all-electric SUV

The Airtrek name was used for the original Outlander in Japan in the early 2000s.

Mitsubishi has ripped the covers from its first all-electric SUV, the Airtrek, which could be a winner for the Japanese brand in Australia.

However, the chances of the sharp-looking SUV making it to Australian dealerships is slim.

Revealed at this month’s Guangzhou motor show, the Airtrek is a result of the joint-venture between Mitsubishi and its Chinese partner, GAC (Guangzhou Automobile Group). It is a China-specific model and is highly unlikely to be offered outside that market.

There’s little information about the Airtrek’s electric powertrain for now, but it has a 70kWh battery and a driving range of 520km on the Chinese Light-duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC).

That’s more than other electric SUVs like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (up to 480km) and the Tesla Model Y (480-505km) but not as much as the anticipated range of the Nissan Ariya (610km).

In terms of dimensions, the Airtrek measures 4630mm long, 1920mm wide, 1728mm tall and with a 2830mm wheelbase. That means it’s slightly wider and taller, but not as long as the Ioniq 5 EV.

Design wise, the Airtrek features a squared-off, edgy look with Mitsubishi’s signature Dynamic Shield front-end styling.

The Airtrek is not Mitsubishi’s first fully electric car – the quirky i-MiEV city hatch from 2010 has that honour – but it is the company’s first fully electric SUV.

The Mitsubishi Airtrek has similar dimensions to the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The Mitsubishi Airtrek has similar dimensions to the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Mitsubishi has skin in the game when it comes to electrified SUVs, with the Outlander and Eclipse Cross both offered in plug-in hybrid guise.

Mitsubishi marketing gurus have resurrected the Airtrek nameplate from the company’s past – it was the original name for the Outlander in Japan in the early 2000s.

While the Airtrek won’t make it Down Under, Mitsubishi is likely to spin off its own EV based on shared underpinnings of its Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance partners.

The new CMF-EV platform forms the basis of the upcoming Nissan Ariya and the Renault Megane E-Tech, and it stands to reason that Mitsubishi will have its own version too.

In the meantime, the plug-in hybrid version of the all-new Outlander will land in Australian dealerships in the first half of 2022.