PARIS - With a long-standing tradition of pioneering technologies and a presence in 160+ world markets, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is rather well equipped to embrace the structural re-shaping affecting the global auto industry, whether geographical or environmental.
From the specific demands of the newly emerging markets (affordable, robust yet contemporary vehicles) to the renewed interest of mature areas (down-sized / lighter / more fuel-efficient automobiles), MMC has pragmatically committed its engineering resources to satisfy these new needs, as highlighted in its “Jump 2013” business plan with clear targets (20% of EVs and PHEVs by 2020).
Covering a wide spectrum, MMC R&D is engaged in a multitude of alternative solutions such as:
- B-Segment Global Small (Mirage)
- C/D-Segment Project Global  (ASX , New Outlander)
- Taking the Outlander crossover concept one notch below with the C-Segment ASX2
- Returning to the roots of the B-Segment with the clever 3710 mm long Mirage
- Significant gains in all areas for the quieter, safer and better equipped New Outlander (about -100 kg max.)
Fuel economy / Lower emissions:
- “Auto Stop & Go” made available to a wider range of models and powertrains
 New Outlander, Lancer & Lancer Evolution, Delica D: 5, ASX
 ‘RVR’ or ‘Outlander Sport’, depending on markets.
- Continuing refinement of MMC’s own highly efficient 4N13/4N14 Clean Diesel engines
- Further development of petrol engine architecture (new MIVEC engines available with New Outlander, Mirage)
- Expansion of the Mitsubishi range of EVs
- Introduction of Mitsubishi’s EV-based Plug-in Hybrid technology (New Outlander)
Whilst the challenge of “new frontier” technologies such as real-life PHEV might seem daunting, no less so is that of engineering a new generation of small cars, with all the constraints of this genre. More so if the said vehicle is meant to tackle ALL world markets, whether mature or emerging. Introducing Mirage, MMC’s new take at the small car sector – the GLOBAL small car sector.
The first product to be developed by MMC off its all-new and innovative “Global Small” platform, Mirage can be summed up as:
- One architecture + one factory + one car for one open world.
- Not a MMC “low cost” offering, but instead, a rational / no-nonsense product for a converging and fast growing global small car market:
– Emerging middle-class in emerging countries.
– Running cost conscious customers in mature regions.
- Global consistency through “engineering-first” approach.
Mirage is built, and has been since March 2012, at MMC’s brand-new plant at the “Laem Chabang Industrial Estate” in the Chonburi province of Thailand, MMC’s third unit in this most strategic country, serving all world markets with a forecasted volume of about 120,000 units (FY2012).
After Thailand, the ASEAN countries and Japan, Mirage will be exported to Europe (sequential launch from Q1 CY2013), followed by Australia and other global markets.
Tellingly, at launch in Japan on August 31st, 2012, Mirage became the most fuel efficient (registered) gasoline car  with a fuel economy figure of 27.2 km/litre- a figure 20% better than Japan’s 2015 Fuel Efficiency Standards.
Less is more
Taking into consideration the environmental (CO2emissions) and financial (fuel economy and running costs) challenges global customers are now faced with, it became obvious for MMC R&D that the very concept of “small car” had to be completely reviewed.
More so for the European market where the highly popular B-Segment has drifted away over the last 20 years from its fundamentals with over-specced and over-sized products, often similar what European C-Segment cars used to be.
At the same time, the point was neither for MMC to bring a cheap, de-contented product nor a “low cost” vehicle but a rational / no-nonsense product, with the expected quality and reliability Mitsubishi Motors is renowned for 
Short (3710 mm), light (from 845 kg), sleek (Cd: 0.27), efficient (4.0 l /100km6), clean (92 g/km6) and peppy (0-100 km/h in 13.6 seconds), Mirage remains nonetheless roomy (1651 mm total legroom), comfortable (for 5 occupants) and nimble (short 4.6 m turning radius despite a wide 1665 mm body), whilst offering the level of comfort, equipment and safety expected nowadays.
Re-engineering the B-Segment
Following the same development philosophy as New Outlander, Mirage’s “engineering-first” approach translated into “efficiency-first” solutions:
- Structural optimisation and extensive use of high-tensile steel panelling result in a significant reduction in weight over B-Segment average with a minimum of only 845 kg, making a major contribution to fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
 Hybrid vehicles not included. As researched by Mitsubishi Motors as of August 1st, 2012.
 Per the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08
fuel-economy test cycle.
 Mitsubishi Motors ranked #3 in the 2012 Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) researched by J.D. Power and Associates and AUTO TEST in Germany.
 1.0 litre engine w/AS&G and 5M/T – combined EU cycle
- At the same time, MMC’s patented RISE  body design combines an impact energy-absorbing front end with a high-rigidity cabin structure. In-house impact testing showed Mirage has the highest collision safety among its class in Japan.
- Through CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis and wind tunnel testing, MMC design team strived to optimise the overall shape to reduce air resistance over Mirage’s pebble-sleek body (from the clam-shell hood to the tapered roofline), providing a drag coefficient of just 0.27 – one of the lowest in its class.
- Mirage’s high-efficiency packaging keeps the engine compartment is as compact as possible to optimise occupant space. While smaller than conventional compact cars, the body dimensions make it highly manoeuvrable while providing good interior space for five adults and sufficient luggage space for everyday use.
The front end design allows the driver to see both edges of the bonnet, making it easier to determine the positioning of the vehicle. Locating the A-pillars closer to the front occupants and starting the belt line low down at the front combine to offer an excellent field of vision, both forward and to the side. Together with a turning radius of just 4.6 m - among the smallest in its class - this packaging allows the driver to manoeuvre with confidence when turning at intersections, driving along narrow roads or when parking.
- In Europe, Mirage is powered by a new generation of lightweight and compact 3-cylinder petrol engines, available in either 1.0 l or 1.2 l displacements. Lively and thrifty, both use Mitsubishi Motors’ MIVEC  variable valve timing system.
- Together with a painstaking reduction of engine friction and engine load as well as weight reduction, aerodynamic performance, transmission efficiency and MMC’s low CO2technologies (see below), Mirage can boast high levels of fuel economy and low emissions, amongst the best in the segment:
 Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution.
 Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system
||4.1 l/100 km
- As customary now with Mitsubishi products in Europe, Mirage is equipped (depending on market and model) with the full palette of low CO2 technologies, including:
- Auto Stop & Go,
- Regenerative braking system,
- High-efficiency alternator,
- Intelligent battery sensor,
- 165/65R14 low friction tyres,
For Mirage, this package now also features a 3-bar “Eco Drive Assist” display in the instrument cluster (depending on market and model) which gives a visual indication of how economically the vehicle is being driven based on current fuel consumption and vehicle speed.
- Last but not least, as an alternative to the standard 5-speed manual gearbox, Mirage can be fitted with the newest version of Mitsubishi’s INVECS-III CVT wide-ratio transmission (depending on market and model) which now uses a sub-gear train to deliver better acceleration and fuel economy. Extending the engine speed range over which the lockup clutch engages and optimisation of transmission control has contributed to a further reduction in fuel consumption without affecting acceleration performance.
- Mirage’s basic set up is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle with coil springs at the rear, optimised to provide easy and stable handling, as well as a very comfortable ride. Streamlining the suspension configuration has reduced its weight, contributing to better fuel economy.
- For the sake of fuel economy, Mirage is equipped with a sharp electric powered rack & pinion steering (3.48 turns, lock to lock).
- Braking system for Europe is courtesy of (depending on market and model):
- Powered front vented discs / rear drums,
- ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Active Stability Control (stability control system + traction control system),
- Emergency Stop Signal, Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist.
For a long time, Mitsubishi Motors has implemented processes and systems to ensure that very high levels of development and production quality are realised on a common basis at its production units around the world.
In the area of production, the “Mitsubishi Motors Production Way” (MMPW) system is employed to achieve rigorous quality assurance at each of its production facilities through a “station completion” process where only defect-free units are allowed to pass to the next work station on the assembly line.
With Mirage, Mitsubishi Motors is making even greater efforts to improve production quality. Since Mirage is an all-new model being produced at a brand-new factory in Thailand, all cars undergo a pre-shipment inspection conducted by seasoned Japanese inspectors, in addition to the normal line-off inspection. The Japanese inspectors also provide training and guidance to local personnel.
(All data subject to final homologation)
||1430 mm / 1415 mm
||from 845 kg
||165/65R14 and 175/55R15
||from 235 l (VDA measured)
1.0 I MIVEC
AS & G
1.2 I MIVEC
AS & G
1.2 I MIVEC
AS & G
||52 kW (71ps)
@ 600 rpm
||88 Nm @ 5000 rpm
||106 Nm @ 4000 rpm
||106 Nm @ 4000 rpm
||92 g/km 
||96 g/km 
||95 g/km 
|Top speed (where legal)