All-new Pajero Sport ‘tailor-made’ for Kiwi drivers

The all-new Pajero Sport is set to join Mitsubishi’s New Zealand line-up in early 2016.

Unveiled today (1 August) in Thailand, where the new-generation mid-size SUV is built, the muscular Pajero Sport inherits the best of the Pajero brand, from sporty yet refined exterior lines, powerful performance and sculpted seats to a full pack of safety features.

The Pajero Sport welds the new ‘dynamic shield’ front face, nurtured through successive Pajero series, into a stylish design that puts it in a class of its own.

Powering the rugged new SUV is a 2.4 litre MIVEC turbo-diesel that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission - Mitsubishi’s first. The powertrain achieves exceptional economy and CO2 emissions of under 200 g/km.

Pajero Sport is loaded with active and passive safety features.

Mitsubishi’s unique RISE (reinforced impact safety evolution) body design and seven airbags provide outstanding passive safety.

Active safety features include the blind spot warning system, forward collision mitigation braking, and four-camera all-round monitoring.

Significant advances to the already-legendary Super-Select 4WD system include off-road mode, letting the driver dial in snow or rocks or gravel to achieve maximum traction, and hill descent control.

Mitsubishi’s head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook says while the new SUV will be sold in 90 countries, “it’s absolutely tailor-made for New Zealand. With its shared Pajero heritage and significant off-road advancements the Pajero Sport will have major appeal for Kiwi drivers”.

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Mitsubishi Motors takes on Baja 500 cross-country rally with Outlander PHEV

The team will be led by team manager and technical director Yasuo Tanaka, who brings expertise from MMC’s EV Component Research Department, Development Engineering Office.  The team will be largely made up of MMC personnel with support from four engineers from the EV Component Research Department.

The Baja Portalegre 500 is scheduled to be the ninth round of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, and is widely considered a warm-up event for the world famous Dakar Rally.

With a competitive course covering around 500km of high-speed dirt roads, the Baja Portalegre 500 has attracted entries across three categories – automobile, motor bike and quad – with a field of more than 300 vehicles expected to take part in the 2015 event.

MMC is targeting a place finish in the upcoming cross country rally and will use the opportunity to once again promote the advanced development of its EV and four-wheel drive control technologies.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV rally car

The competition car uses the Outlander PHEV production model drive battery – which forms the heart of the plug-in hybrid SUV – but with modifications to its structure to achieve greater capacity and output.

The control system governing the motors has been modified to deliver a higher output, while the generator and engine – which supply power to the battery and motors – have been modified to increase power output and boost overall system performance.

Off-road performance has been improved in order to take full advantage of the upgraded PHEV system.  Changes include a higher ground clearance and longer suspension stroke together with larger diameter rally tires to enhance the Outlander PHEV’s performance limits.

The data Mitsubishi Motors gathers during the event is considered highly valuable and will be fed back into development of future production cars.

Hiroshi Masuoka

Mitsubishi team captain and driver Hiroshi Masuoka said the Outlander PHEV’s twin motor 4x4 driveline had earned a solid reputation for durability and stable driving dynamics in markets around the world, which was reinforced through recent competition in the Asia Cross Country Rally and Australasian Safari.

“The non-stop competition format of the Baja 500 will again demand the highest levels of drive motor and battery durability from the Outlander PHEV,” he said.

“Like many competitors in this year’s Baja Portalegre 500, I am driven to show Outlander PHEV’s incredible driving dynamics and durability which come direct from the production car.

“With the support of MMC EV development engineers, we will compete with a view to finishing among the winners.

“Mitsubishi is using this event as an opportunity to demonstrate the upgraded power of the rally car’s EV components and advanced development of our 4WD control technology, with the aim of using our experiences at the Baja Portalegra 500 to develop our plug-in hybrid EV system further in the future.”

2015 Asia Cross Country Rally

As in previous years, MMC will support the Two & Four Motor Sports team to compete in the 2015 FIA Asia Cross Country Rally on 8-14 August.

This year, the team will enter an Outlander PHEV rally car in the same specification as MMC’s Baja Portalegra 500 competition car with the intention of securing a place finish in the 2015 event.  

MMC will provide event support in the form of vehicle construction, vehicle provision and engineering team personnel.

Two & Four Motor Sports will use know-how gained from competition in the 2013 and 2014 events to prepare for the 2,500km mountainous rally which starts and finishes in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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Mitsubishi targets #1 spot as latest ASX arrives

Visually evident among significant across-the-board specification improvements to Mitsubishi’s latest ASX range, announced this month, is the adoption of new 18-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, with black wheel arch overfenders completing the SUV ‘look’.

All models now also have LED daytime running lights and emergency stop signal.

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New 2016 Outlander While New Yorkers gaze, Kiwis drive

New York Auto Show visitors got an early-April opportunity to take a peep at the latest version of Mitsubishi’s popular Outlander SUV, months before it appears on US highways.

A world away in New Zealand, motoring writers are already behind the wheel, drive-testing the new model on paddocks and rural roads before it hits showrooms in late April.

Tongue firmly in cheek, sales and marketing head Daniel Cook opines that being among the first countries to get the new Outlander could be related to a 2014 sales performance that underscored Mitsubishi as New Zealand’s fastest-growing mainstream brand.

“Seriously, we’re just counting our lucky stars we can quickly bring the new model’s host of benefits to what we believe will be a very receptive audience”.

The consistently popular five/seven seat Outlander sits in New Zealand’s largest vehicle segment. Over 10,000 Outlanders have taken to our roads since the model first appeared here in 2006: testament, Daniel Cook says, to the huge reputation the model’s earned for its “compelling” value.

The 2016 Outlander, redesigned and re-engineered from nose to tail, is the first Mitsubishi production vehicle to bear the striking new ‘dynamic shield’ fascia - reminiscent of Pajero’s powerful stance - that signals future models’ design direction.

The look has changed significantly, and so has the drive.

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Mitsubishi unveils all-new Triton Five star safety, five star drive

On the back of a year which cemented its position as New Zealand’s fastest-growing mainstream brand, and with utes now accounting for 20% of all new vehicles, Mitsubishi might be forgiven for feeling supremely confident about the imminent launch of its all-new fifth-generation Triton.

Triton and the L200 from which it was derived have been around since 1978, and this is the first full redesign of Triton for nine years.

Mitsubishi’s head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook says it’s been well worth waiting for.

“It sounds a total contradiction to say that here’s a go-anywhere, one-tonne ute that’s as tough as nails yet drives and feels like a smooth, quiet luxury sedan. But it absolutely does”.

Mitsubishi‘s designers and engineers, he says, have taken a vast leap ahead in interior space and comfort, NVH enhancements, bigger tray capacity, stronger body, a driver’s knee air bag, significantly greater torque, less frequent servicing, fuel economy from 7litres/100km and multiple technical refinements throughout: such that Daniel Cook predicts sales of the 5-star safety rated Triton near-doubling to 2,500 a year.

“It’s exciting to offer customers important spec and safety enhancements, but immediately you get behind the wheel of this new Triton you know it is so much more than that: it is unbelievably better to drive and to enjoy”.

The new Triton is also a class leader in various respects, he says, naming highest figures for torque to weight ratio and fully laden tow weight, lowest for fuel economy and turning circle.

“And Triton remains the only ute in New Zealand with a 10-year warranty”, he adds.

The new range offers ten models, all with the new 2.4l DiD MIVEC engine: (4WD) GLX manual single cab/club cab, GLX/GLS Sport manual/auto double cab: (2WD) GLX manual single cab, GLX-R manual/auto double cab.
colade to a raft of industry awards won in 19 years’ operation.

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“Outstanding” Mitsubishi dealers collect Diamond accolades

“Outstanding” Mitsubishi dealers collect Diamond accolades

Seven Mitsubishi Motors dealers, from Auckland to Invercargill, were awarded the company’s prestigious Diamond Dealer accolade at a black-tie celebration at Sky City on 15 May.

The winning dealers all "excelled in customer service, sales and dealership operations" said Mitsubishi executive director Warren Brown, speaking at the Porirua-based auto company’s tenth annual dealer awards evening. “These dealers delivered across-the-board results that were simply outstanding and earned themselves the Diamond Dealer trophy, our pinnacle award that brings peer and market recognition for overall excellence."

The 2015 Diamond Dealers are: Mark Barton of Auckland Motors Mitsubishi, Manukau; Darrell Russell of Piako Mitsubishi, Morrinsville; Simon Lucas of Simon Lucas Mitsubishi, North Shore; Aaron Chatfield of Bay City Mitsubishi, Tauranga; Michael Mason of Southern Mitsubishi, Invercargill; Kelston Swete of Houston Mitsubishi Blenheim; and parts and service dealer Kelvin Armstrong of Henderson’s KAAR Mitsubishi.

“While these dealers proved themselves exceptional”, said Warren Brown, “the whole Mitsubishi dealer network is to be congratulated for bringing about an unprecedented
64 months of continuous year-on-year growth that has resulted in more and more New Zealanders enjoying ownership of a new Mitsubishi vehicle.

“In 2014 alone, while our competitors together grew ten percent, double that number of new vehicle buyers chose Mitsubishi, confirming its position as New Zealand’s fastest-growing mainstream brand”.

At the awards evening, while Mark Barton was collecting for his Manukau dealership team a record 11th Diamond Dealer award, Invercargill’s Michael Mason and Blenheim’s Kelston Swete were celebrating not only each collecting the premier prize for the first time, but also pulling off the first Mainland ‘double’ in five years.

Winners of key awards for the excellence of their “support teams” - in both cases for the second year in a row - were Palmerston North’s McVerry Crawford Mitsubishi for their Paul Brown-led service operation, and Simon Lucas Mitsubishi for their parts team under Graeme Smith.
Other awards went to Andrew Simms Mitsubishi Newmarket for achieving the country’s highest new vehicle sales; King Country’s Otorohanga Mitsubishi, finance dealer of the year and highest year-on-year sales growth; and to three dealerships that each collected a “double”, for best local market share and for excellence in customer service - Bay City Mitsubishi, Tawa’s Mexted Mitsubishi and Kaitaia’s Archibald Mitsubishi.

“Aside from our car and light commercial dealers”, said Warren Brown, “Mitsubishi’s 22-strong nationwide parts and service network is a vital part of our business and a touch point for customers living outside the main centres”. After only two years with Mitsubishi, West Auckland’s Kelvin Armstrong Auto Repairs (KAAR) starred as 2015 parts and service Diamond Dealer, adding the ac

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Mitsubishi is NZ’s fastest-growing mainstream car & LCV brand

While the motor industry reflects on its biggest passenger vehicle sales year in three decades, Mitsubishi is quietly acknowledging the customer appeal that in 2014 cemented its position as New Zealand’s fastest-growing mainstream car & LCV brand.

“In every year since 2009 more owners have chosen a Mitsubishi than in the previous year”, says the company’s head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. “We see it as a gradual migration towards style, innovation, quality and reliability. It’s also reflects our customer support, especially Diamond Advantage, the best new-vehicle warranty around”.

Mitsubishi has attracted new buyers from across the board, he says.

“Take Lancer sedan. This exceptional-value car retains its unstoppable appeal to private ‘small sedan’ buyers: last year, twice as many buyers in this group chose Lancer than its nearest competitor, a trend set to continue with the attractive new 2015 line-up.

“The ASX ‘small SUV’ has hit a high, too, with its appealing mix of value and performance attracting 80% more new buyers in 2014 than in 2013”.

Record interest as well, he reports, in the latest versions of the classic 3-tonne-towing Pajero, with sales levels not seen for a decade.

“Looking back over the year, we’re especially proud we’ve given New Zealanders a look into the future with the debut of an extraordinary Outlander, the technology-leading plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). So quickly was this vehicle adopted by eco-focussed individuals and businesses it singlehandedly elevated New Zealand to the status of the world’s fastest-growing PHEV nation.

“Company Vehicle magazine voted the vehicle NZ’s ‘best medium SUV’, bar none, while National Business Review named it ‘Green Car of the Year’.

 “These awards topped off a year that saw record numbers of drivers enjoying a new Mitsubishi”, said Daniel Cook. “It’s a continuing trend: many prospective customers already have their eye on the release, in few months’ time, of the new-generation Triton ute, a powerful, athletic design that promises a significant leap forward in efficiency, safety and comfort”.

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