Tokyo Auto ShowMitsubishi Motors Corp. will unveil 17 cars at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, including the new Outlander cross/utility vehicle, set to launch in Japan on Oct. 17.

The Outlander boasts a new engine, the 2.4L 16-valve DOHC 4-cyl. “world engine” that was a joint development of Mitsubishi, Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. and DaimlerChrysler Corp. (See related story: Mitsubishi to Begin Taking Dundee Engines for ’09 Models)

The Outlander’s mill employs Mitsubishi’s MIVEC variable valve timing technology and is mated to a new Sport Mode 6-speed continuously variable transmission. Shifting is via steering-wheel mounted paddles.

The Outlander takes cues from the Lancer Evolution series, using an aluminum roof panel to lower the vehicle’s center of gravity and monotube shock absorbers, Mitsubishi says.

Mitsubishi Concept-X

The new CUV will use Mitsubishi’s All Wheel Control (AWC) system, which unites Active Stability Control to the auto maker’s existing 4-wheel-drive system to deliver “all-surface cruising performance,” says Mitsubishi.

The Outlander’s wide track, 52 ins. (131 cm) in front and 50 ins. (127cm) in the rear, along with large wheels and tires, gives the vehicle’s styling “the quiet potency of a fully trained athlete,” says Mitsubishi.

Inside, the vehicle gets a Rockford Fosgate 650-watt audio system. The Outlander’s doors are converted to speaker boxes by using sheet panel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) covers and sound-absorbing material to seal openings, the auto maker says.

The vehicle will seat five passengers, with “occasional seating for two more,” Mitsubishi says. In the U.S., the auto maker plans to offer 5- and 7-passenger Outlanders.

Another production model on hand will be the “i” minicar, which Mitsubishi says takes into consideration the values of “omni-directional crashworthiness, a nimble athletic performance,” and the marriage of “original exterior lines and roomy interior living space” in its cab-forward body.

The vehicle is powered by a new 3-cyl. intercooler-turbocharged MIVEC engine that uses a silent camshaft drive chain and increased engine rigidity to lessen noise, vibration and harshness levels.

The powerplant is located near the rear of the vehicle, providing a large front crushable zone, says Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi will show two concepts at Tokyo, the Concept-X and Concept-D:5. The former features a “ruthlessly mechanical road machine image” derived from the Lancer Evolution, the auto maker says, adding there is a driver-centric interior layout.

Design cues include an outsize grille, jet fighter-inspired front visage and aluminum accents in the largely black interior.

The vehicle is powered by a 2.0L 4-cyl. DOHC MIVEC intercooler-turbocharged engine mated to a clutchless 6-speed auto-manual transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

To reduce body weight, Mitsubishi uses aluminum in the Concept-X’s hood, trunk lid, fenders, roof and front- and rear-door panels.

Also, the Concept-X uses Mitsubishi’s Super AWC, which adds Active Brake Control, Active Steering System and Roll Control Suspension technologies to the auto maker’s fulltime 4WD system.

The Concept-D:5 offers a hint at the next-generation Delica minivan model sold in Japan.

It is a 4WD mono-box concept with an exposed “rib-bone frame,” fullsize glass roof panel and metallic and natural materials.

The car offers the same AWC system, 4-cyl. engine and 6-speed CVT transmission setup, as in the Outlander.

The Concept-D:5 features such safety technology as a peripheral monitoring system, which uses 10 approach sensors to detect obstacles or pedestrians near the vehicle; lane trace assist, a lane-departure warning system that uses an on-board camera to alert a driver when he or she is getting too close to a road’s dividing lines; and Adaptive Cruise Control, which uses millimeter-wave radar to measure how close a driver is traveling to the vehicle in front of it and applies corrective action.

The auto maker also is showcasing its new electric vehicle technology in the Lancer Evolution MIEV. The vehicle has four outer-rotor in-wheel motors, which each produce 67 hp. Acceleration time is less than 8 seconds 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h), and maximum speed is 112 mph (180 km/h).

The vehicle’s lithium-ion battery system is located under the Lancer Evolution MIEV’s floor to reduce the center of gravity, says Mitsubishi.

The auto maker will hold a press conference Oct. 19 in Tokyo to unveil its offerings.

cschweinsberg@primediabusiness.com