You hear a lot about downsizing, these days, what with the steadily increasing interest in fuel economy, but few makers have done more to shave inches and pounds than Mitsubishi has with the new Outlander Sport, which is making its public debut, this week, at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.
This entry-level compact crossover is far more car-like than the earlier Mitsubishi Outlander, and measures a full 15-inches shorter than the older SUV. That alone should help improve mileage, but the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport also introduces a technology that might be called “hybrid light,” which could help the Japanese crossover appeal to a younger, more green-minded audience.
Mitsubishi is counting on the 2011 Outlander Sport to “raise consumer opinion and consideration of our brand,” says Shinichi Kurihara, CEO of the Japanese maker’s sales subsidiary. That’s something Mitsubishi has struggled with, in recent years, other sporty entries, like the Eclipse coupe, failing to reverse a long and steady sales decline.