Mitsubishi’s next electric car is a restyled Renault

Mitsubishi has confirmed plans to add another two new models to its European line-up, which will be based on existing Renault models.

As reported by industry journal Automotive News Europe, the Japanese brand will kick off its new product rollout in 2025 with a compact electric SUV sourced from Renault’s Ampere EV division.

While further details are scarce, the accompanying side-on teaser image bears a strong resemblance to the recently-revealed Renault Scenic E-Tech electric crossover.

Mitsubishi has said its new model will be based on the Alliance’s AmpR Medium architecture, which underpins said Scenic E-Tech.

The reborn Renault Scenic offers a choice of two electric motors: one with 125kW of power and 280Nm of torque, the other with 160kW and 300Nm. The claimed 0-100km/h times for each are 9.3 seconds and 8.4 seconds, respectively.

The base 60kWh battery offers 420km of range on the WLTP test cycle, while the larger 87kWh battery has 620km of range. Batteries use nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) chemistry, with DC charging capacity rated at 130kW for the smaller battery and 150kW with the larger.

Renault Australia hasn’t committed to launching the new Scenic E-Tech locally to join the smaller Megane E-Tech, though a spokesperson for the local division told CarExpert said: “We are excited by the Renault Scenic E-Tech and could see it working in Australia if it’s made available to our market in right-hand drive”.

It’s not the first time Mitsubishi has offered badge-engineered Renault products in select markets. It already offers the Captur-based ASX and Clio-based Colt in Europe, which are both built by Renault.

The Mitsubishi-badged take on the Scenic E-Tech will be the third vehicle in the Japanese brand’s European line-up with heritage from its French Alliance partner, while a fourth “derivative from Renault” will take that to four.

According to Automotive News Europe, company executives confirmed the second model to be sourced from Renault rather than the Ampere EV unit, meaning it could feature internal combustion engines and/or hybridisation.

Looking at Renault’s European line-up, it could mean we see the Austral, Espace or Rafaele crossovers rebadged as Mitsubishis – which offer mild-hybrid and “full hybrid” drivetrain options all drawing upon turbocharged petrol engines.

It’s possible the Austral will be rebadged as the Eclipse Cross, given it plays in a key segment in Europe and the ageing current model is nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Mitsubishi will also re-introduce the larger Outlander SUV to Europe in 2024 with plug-in hybrid power. The company discontinued the Outlander name with the previous generation in 2021.

According to the Automotive News Europe report, which cited figures from Dataforce, Mitsubishi sales to the end of October in Europe fell 26 per cent to 33,477 units amidst slowing demand for the Eclipse Cross PHEV SUV.

Sales also fell for the Space Star (Mirage) light car, which still accounted for over half of Mitsubishi sales to the end of October at 19,524. The Captur-based ASX recorded sales of 7157 for the year, while the Clio-based Colt has just gone on sale.

Part of Mitsubishi’s reasoning for sourcing vehicles from Renault is a claimed 50 per cent reduction in development costs, with the Japanese brand recently reducing its presence in the region to focus on its core markets like Asia-Pacific. The Japanese brand has even pulled out of select markets like the UK and Belgium.

As for Australia, Mitsubishi offers a much wider line-up as it’s considered a key market, particularly for products like the Triton dual-cab ute. The brand currently sells only crossovers, SUVs and utes locally, having recently retired its last remaining passenger car in the pint-sized Mirage – though it’s looking into bringing the next-gen Delica MPV.

It’s unlikely Mitsubishi Australia will bring in the Renault-based EV to Australia, given its other Renault-sourced products are only sold in left-hand drive European markets and would likely be prohibitively expensive to import and therefore unable to compete in the same value-driven price brackets as our Asian-sourced products, for example.

CarExpert recently reported, however, that Mitsubishi Australia is weighing up replacing the ageing current ASX with the Renault Captur-based ASX from Europe, or alternatively a version of the recently-revealed Xforce currently pitched at developing Asian markets.

Would you buy a rebadged Renault to replace your ASX or Eclipse Cross? Tell us in the comments!


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