The pressure on Mitsubishi to release new-age EVs in China is mounting, and the company has found the GAC Aion V (from Chinese manufacturer GAC Motor) as an effective base to address the need. GAC Mitsubishi Motors Co., Ltd. (GMMC), Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s vehicle production and sales JV in China has introduced a reskinned version of the Chinese electric SUV called Mitsubishi Airtrek, a model which would compete with compact SUVs the VW ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz in the local market.
Every bit of the Airtrek at the front is truly Mitsubishi. It wears the latest iteration of the brand’s Dynamic Shield front design concept. The X-shaped mammoth grille, the beefy-looking, high-mounted, split headlamps, and the high, flattish hood give it the masculine character we have seen on ICE models like the Mitsubishi Triton and Pajero Sport. However, the grille in this case is a closed panel, and the headlamps have a level of sophistication.
On the sides, the beltline remains straight almost till the end, and the roofline is simple, giving the Airtrek a tough SUV look. Flush door handles complement the smooth surfacing on the door panels, although chunky mirrors and fender flares remind again it’s a classically styled Mitsubishi SUV. At the rear, the Airtrek sports T-shaped horizontal rear lights. The back glass is quite raked, but the tailgate doesn’t look as unconventional as the Eclipse Cross. The matte metallic finish on the lower bumper accentuates the rugged yet bold design of the compact SUV. On the top, flush-fitting roof bars and a shark fin antenna add to the style.
The minimalist interior looks a lot modern than global Mitusbishi models, with the exception of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, because that’s where the theme comes from. It has a similar horizontal dashboard in a sleek build, along with slim air vents. The bridge-type center console mimics the styling of luxury cars and houses a rotary gear selector, a park button, the electric parking brake, and what looks like a compact storage space.
The layout of the instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system isn’t a replica of the donor model, but the positioning of the center console is. The instrument cluster is a fully digital LCD unit measuring 12.3 inches diagonally. The touchscreen infotainment system also measures 12.3 inches diagonally, but it has a different aspect ratio. An 8-speaker sound system is also among the main interior features.
A large rectangular floating touchscreen panel is attached to the dashboard. In front of the steering wheel with shiny switches is a fully digital instrument cluster. The extensive usage of the cream color emphasizes the understated theme of the interior and makes it look richer. As per Chinese reports, the Airtrek features the AdiGO 2.5 driving assistant system and a large sunroof. There’s also speak of a flat floor for rear-seat passengers, and spy shots have revealed 60:40 split rear seats.
The Mitsubishi Airtrek’s dimensions are similar to the GAC Aion V. It is 4,630 mm (182.3 in.) long, 1,920 mm (75.6 in.) wide, and 1,728 mm (68.0 in.) tall, and it has a 2,830 mm (111.4 in.)-long wheelbase. The only difference from the donor model is that it is 44 mm (1.7 in.) longer (from the new bumpers).
However, like the Aion V, the Airtrek is a 2WD-only model. The Mitsubishi Airtrek sports a powerful single motor that produces 224 PS of maximum power and 350 Nm of peak torque. A 66.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds this motor, and it provides a range of 520 km in the CLTC measurement. Fast-charging the battery pack from 30 to 80% SoC takes 43 minutes. The compact electric SUV has a 220-volt port to transmit the battery pack’s power output for V2L (powering external equipment) and V2V (charging other vehicles) functions.
The Mitsubishi Airtrek premiered at the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show on November 19, 2021. Autohome, the Chinese publication, has revealed that the new electric SUV has already started reaching local dealerships, well ahead of the previously reported March 2022 launch. The launch could take place in the coming weeks.
GAC-Mitsubishi announced Airtrek pre-sale prices at the debut, and they range between CNY 210,000 (EUR 29,132) and CNY 240,000 (EUR 33,293). The final prices should come out at the launch in early 2022. The company will offer a 5-year/150,000 km warranty on the new electric SUV.
Will the Airtrek travel to Europe or Australia?
There appears to be no firm sales plan for the Airtrek outside the Chinese market at the moment. In June 2021, Renault said that beginning in 2023, Mitsubishi Motors will procure two vehicles manufactured by Renault, for European markets. It would be interesting to see the customer reaction to the Airtrek in Europe and if Mitsubishi adds new models to the business plan.
In Australia, people would love to own and drive an EV with a design and size similar to the Airtrek electric SUV, Josephine Wagstaff, Public Relations Manager, Mitsubishi (Australia), told The Driven. Mitsubishi designed the Airtrek EV for China, but the Australian subsidiary is keeping options open and considering new opportunities/products for the country. In general, export possibilities for the Airtrek from China seem quite low as GMMC would have to develop an RHD model if it intends to launch it widely in global markets with an appetite for electrified crossovers.
Featured Image Source: Mitsubishi