One of Australia’s most successful small SUVs is getting ready for an all-new replacement, with Mitsubishi this week hinting that its next ASX was “not far” from being unveiled.
Mitsubishi said the second-generation ASX – the eight-year-old SUV that is currently Australia’s top-selling small SUV – will be an in-house-designed and engineereded vehicle and will it share little with its Alliance partners, Renault and Nissan.
At the launch of the new Triton in Thailand last week, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation said the next ASX would not be a rebadged Nissan or Renault because it was one of the brand’s core models.
It said the Triton, Outlander and ASX represented Mitsubishi’s core vehicles and development would remain in-house and would not be shared, unlike the incoming Mitsubishi van that will be a joint venture with Renault.
However, while Mitsubishi would not discuss details of the next ASX, its corporate vice-president of product strategy, Vincent Cobee, said the new SUV could share a Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance platform.
Given the size of the ASX, this platform could be the same one used on the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai.
Mr Cobee said that although the platform could be similar, a new ASX would maintain its own distinct flavour.
He added that while Mitsubishi would share as much technology as possible with its partners, the development would remain with the company.
Mr Cobee said the ASX was crucial to Mitsubishi’s plans for increasing its share and profitability and was one of five models – Triton, Pajero Sport, Outlander, Eclipse Cross and ASX – that drove the brand in Australia.
“What is impressive in Australia is that in spite of its longevity in the market, it is still an extremely capable, straightforward, roomy and competitive vehicle,” he said.
Mitsubishi would not give a timeline for the new ASX, but said this would be preceded by an update to the Pajero Sport. After ASX would come a new Outlander.
The ASX is Mitsubishi’s second-best selling model in Australia behind the Triton with a 7.5 per cent increase in sales to 16,473 in the first 10 months of the year.
Topping the sales charts in a segment that has grown 23.4 per cent this year means the ASX holds a clear lead ahead of the Mazda CX-3 (13,923), Nissan Qashqai (11,619) Subaru XV (11,419), Hyundai Kona (10,558) and Honda HR-V (10,313).
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