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Return of the Colt! Mitsubishi's long-gone light hatch to return with hybrid and plug-in hybrid power, but will the Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2 rival come to Australia?

The next Colt will be offered with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The Colt is back! Mitsubishi has resurrected one its most iconic model names for a new light hatch for the European market.

Mitsubishi’s new-generation Colt will mark a return to the passenger car segment after the Japanese brand restructured its line-up nearly 10 years ago to focus on SUVs and light-commercial vehicles.

Since the demise of the Lancer small car, the only other passenger model remaining has been the Mirage micro car, but that has been discontinued because changes to Australian Design Rules meant it could not remain on sale here unless it was re-engineered.

The new Colt will be a joint Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance model and will likely be shared with the Renault Clio and the upcoming new-gen Nissan Micra.

It will be built at the same Renault factory in Turkey that produces the Clio.

The new Colt will be the second model developed as a shared model between Renault and Mitsubishi, alongside the forthcoming new-gen ASX light SUV that is expected to share underpinnings with the Renault Captur.

Mitsubishi has released a single shadowy teaser image of the Colt, revealing a small hatchback with a rounded rear end and featuring Mitsubishi’s familiar front-end styling.

The image also highlights a ‘Hybrid EV’ badge on the fender. Mitsubishi has confirmed both the ASX and Colt will be built using the CMF-B platform and be offered with both hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The Colt is part of the Alliance’s ‘leader-follower’ scheme that sees one brand lead the development and manufacturing of specific model segments. In this case, Renault leads the development of passenger vehicles with a focus on European markets.

Any Australians excited about the possible return of the Colt should probably temper their expectations. A Mitsubishi Motors Australia spokesman told CarsGuide that it is unlikely to be offered outside of Europe.

"At this stage the Colt return is focused on the European market. While there remains a trickle of Mirage stock in Australia, we aren’t currently looking at re-entering the passenger segment once that is depleted."

If it were to eventually get the green light for Australia, it would line up against the Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift and MG3.

The Colt name dates back to 1964 in Australia, and then reappeared in between 1980 and 1990 as a locally built small car. After a hiatus, a new version returned as a replacement for the Mirage in 2004 and was discontinued in 2011.