By David Undercoffler
11:49 AM PST, November 26, 2012
With Suzuki recently pulling out of the U.S. auto market, many are looking at Mitsubishi as the next brand possibly circling the drain. The company sold less than 4,000 vehicles in October, and to date, 2012 sales are down more than 28% from 2011.
But this isn't stopping Mitsubishi from bringing a pair of models to this week's Los Angeles Auto Show.
The first will be a North American debut of the company's all-new 2014 Outlander. Powertrain details for this seven-passenger, compact SUV won't be released until later this week, but Mitsubishi says it will feature a new engine that will help make it one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class.
There is also the potential that the company will bring to the L.A. Auto Show a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander. Mitsubishi brought one to the recent Paris Motor Show, and says it plans to bring it to the U.S. market after its initial Japan launch in early 2013. This model can travel up to 34 miles on electric power alone, before the gas engine kicks in and either recharges the batteries powering its two electric motors, or powers the wheels directly.
Mitsubishi will also be unveiling a special edition of its smaller Outlander Sport that we tested in 2011.
The 2013 Outlander Sport Limited Edition will feature unique interior and exterior trim and some engine tweaks to provide smoother performance. The vehicle will still have the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque on the standard Outlander Sport. Fuel economy will still be 31 mpg on the highway.
Look for Highway 1 to cover this and numerous other reveals from the floor of the convention center during the press days at the L.A Auto Show on Nov. 28 and 29. The show will be open to the public from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9.
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