Check out Mitsubishi’s latest small SUV concept.
I know, I know: If we’re not talking about a new Evo, you’re not interested. At least, that’s the impression of today’s Mitsubishi brand by some of its past enthusiasts. For better or worse, Mitsubishi largely maintains its U.S. presence on crossovers now, and this small and boxy XFC concept caught my eye. It shows the way forward for a new generation of small crossover in the Asian market (where the brand’s currently strongest). However, the automaker says it will expand to other global markets, so there’s a non-zero chance it could come here.
That has me thinking: Could something like this end up replacing the existing Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?
Now, before we even come close to finding that out, the XFC Concept will make its public debut next week at the Vietnam Motor Show. Mitsubishi pitches this vehicle as a “best-suited buddy for an exciting life”. Perhaps not a tagline that will sell many Americans, but its defining traits — like passenger and cargo space, secure handling and an “imposing design” — might. Mitsubishi designed this vehicle, in part, to tackle rough surfaces and flooded roads in Southeast Asia, so the XFC does pack pretty good ground clearance, from the looks of it.
Mitsubishi offers a look both outside and inside.
Personally, I like the chunky styling and LED lighting elements Mitsubishi baked into the XFC Concept. Even more intriguing, though, is its interior. We’ll naturally see the automaker dial things back since it’s a concept, but major elements like the windows some materials may not change as drastically. The company says the XFC Concept has “class-leading space” but did not supplement that with any actual numbers.
The dual-screen infotainment setup, steering wheel, seats and doors don’t look too crazy, so we may see something like this with the eventual production model. The switchgear will likely change, as may the gear selector and the floating center control stack. Mitsubishi says the XFC Concept has four drive modes (Normal, Wet, Gravel and Mud), but did not sure powertrain information just yet.
The production version of this car will launch next year
According to the automaker’s official statement, a production car based on the XFC Concept is coming to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) market next year. An electric version is also in the works, and Mitsubishi plans to expand this car’s availability out into other markets outside Asia.
Mitsubishi did not specifically mention which markets this car may launch in. However, we are seriously overdue for something to replace the Outlander Sport, which has been on sale for more than a decade (with its most recent facelift in 2020). European buyers are seeing a new 2023 ASX model, by way of a badge-engineered Renault Captur. In other markets, though, Mitsubishi seems keen on maintaining the current model, leaving the door option for the XFC to make its way here.
As ever, we’ll have to wait and see.