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Mitsubishi Is Totally Serious About A Ford Bronco-Fighting SUV

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A reborn Montero? It's sounding very likely.

Look at Mitsubishi's current US lineup and, well, it's not all that exciting. A few crossovers, including the all-new Eclipse Cross, and the Mirage sedan and hatchback is all that's there, for now. So when we had the opportunity to speak with Tsuneshiro Kunimoto, vice president and general manager of Mitsubishi design, at Geneva, we asked him outright about future applications of the automaker's new design language, which you can see on the Eclipse Cross. Will there be a new SUV? A reborn Montero or Montero Sport?

"Yes, that is one thing we are looking at. A new SUV," Kunimoto-san said. "The SUV is still growing, also in China and Europe, so it (an SUV) would be a good decision for Mitsubishi." Remember, only a week ago it was announced Fred Diaz-former head of Ram who left to work his truck development magic at Nissan (the Titan is the result)-will become Mitsubishi North America's new CEO. Many were caught by surprise with the announcement because Diaz was previously seen as someone who may, perhaps, lead a larger brand, such as Nissan. But given Kunimoto-san's bullish attitude toward a new SUV and Diaz's new job, a reborn Montero does not sound farfetched at all.

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Because Mitsubishi is now part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, it can also benefit from the latter's extensive platform catalogue. We already know Nissan is working on a Frontier mid-size pickup truck successor, so that platform could easily find its way over to Mitsubishi as well. But what really caught our attention was Kunimoto-san's acknowledgement that Mitsubishi's plug-in hybrid technology, currently available on the Outlander PHEV, could also be applied to an SUV, though only if it's deemed necessary. "Mitsubishi is robust and ingenious, according to Kunimoto. "Look at the Pajero (SUV) at Dakar, for example (of robustness). Thanks to the new alliance, we have so many choices. Mitsubishi will continue to grow."

And we can't wait to see what that growth will turn out to be. A new Montero for the US market will hopefully be a part of it. Unfortunately, Kunimoto-san could not provide a time frame for that hopeful SUV, but he did indicate development is already taking place.