It looks like those photo leaks were accurate.
Although it's far from the most standout midsize crossover on the market, the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander offers great value with a sub-$25,000 starting price and one of the most affordable plug-in hybrid powertrain options available. The Outlander is due for a refresh in the 2022 model year, as evinced by recent spy shots and a photo leak that purportedly revealed the front, back, and side profile.
Of course, with any set of leaked images, the possibility for fakes always exists. But Mitsubishi just released its first official teaser image of the 2022 Outlander, and even though the car is shrouded in darkness, the teaser makes it clear that those leaked images were legitimate. That someone spilled the beans regarding the new Outlander's design may sound like bad news for Mitsubishi, but when is the last time you heard this much about a new Outlander?
Mitsubishi describes the new Outlander as a next-generation vehicle, meaning this 2022 model is more than a facelift. It will officially debut first in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in February 2021, followed soon thereafter by numerous international markets. The 2022 Outlander was developed using a Japanese design philosophy called "I-Fu-Do-Do," which means authentic and majestic. It features Mitsubishi's new Dynamic Shield design concept, which looks reminiscent of the Montero Sport sold in other markets.
"The Outlander is an iconic SUV for the company, so when we developed the next-generation model, we took inspirations from our rich SUV heritage to realize a bold and confident styling with a solid stance that excites our customers," said Seiji Watanabe, Division General Manager of Design for Mitsubishi Motor Cars. "The all-new Outlander is the first model epitomizing the new generation of Mitsubishi design and the frontrunner of our design strategy."
No powertrain information was dropped with the teaser, but rumor has it the Outlander will use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with mild- and plug-in-hybrid powertrains. The PHEV battery is rumored to increase from 12 to 13.2 kWh, improving on the current model's 22-mile electric-only range, perhaps boosting it as far as 43 miles. Of course, an gas-only variant will also be available, and it may borrow the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Nissan Rogue, good for 188 horsepower.