After nearly a decade-long absence from the US, the Mitsubishi Mirage is slated for a comeback next year.
Here's how we last left this Japanese econobox: a small and unexciting, but respectable piece of basic transportation. Since its original debut back in 1973, the Mitsubishi Mirage was a popular mode of transportation across the globe. When it came Stateside in 1978, it was rebadged as a Dodge and Plymouth. It wasn't until 1985 when it was sold in the US as a Mitsubishi. After living a life as a sedan and three-door hatchback in the US market for several years, it was ultimately discontinued in 2002. But it was still sold in other parts of the world.
But now Mitsubishi is intent on reviving its US-market lineup, and according to a new report from Automotive News, the latest Mirage will play a key role in that. Set to return next September to the US, it could even have its stage debut at the New York Auto this March. More than likely, the new Mirage will be a sedan and not a hatchback. At least not at first. The Mirage has been a major hit in Thailand, with over 20,000 units having been ordered so far. That car is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine complete with variable valve timing and a stop/start system with a supposed 70 mpg. Seriously. If that's the case, then the Mirage could find quite an audience.
We don't know whether this will be the US-spec engine or not, but Mitsubishi reportedly claims an EV version is also on the way. Whatever the case, Mitsubishi is apparently confident the US market is ripe once again for a basic and fuel-efficient small car that's also very affordable.