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Mitsubishi’s product offensive and commitment to the American market took a very public step recently with comments from top company executives quoted in the Detroit Free Press indicating the 2015 Galant and a possible Montero Sport replacement are in the cards after years of being missing in action.
The latest hints from the secretive company presage what many experts predict to be a surprise reveal of the production-ready Galant sedan concept at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show starting November 22nd of this year.
The new 2015 Galant is expected to soften some of the sharpest corners of the 2008 Mitsubishi Concept ZT pictured here, as well as insert the Outlander’s sophisticated gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrain choices to ready the car for sale.
Replacing the once-stylish U.S.-market Galant as well as the unloved Diamante that stopped production after the 2012 model year, the new sports sedan is charged with filling the void above the company’s brand-new 2014 Mirage and Outlander Sport. Prices start at a projected $26,000 up to $35,000 for the plug-in hybrid model, with the car’s arrival in U.S. showrooms in summer 2014 expected.
The dimensions of the next Galant are expected to match the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, as the car aims to be Mitsu’s key large sedan model across a variety of markets in Asia, Australia, EMEA and the Americas.
The future Galant’s pricing are projected to start in the mid $20,000s and head upward to $31,000 for the V-6 GT models. The car is tipped to arrive in American dealer lots next summer summer as a 2015 model year.
The interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander pictured above offers the best guidance for the production Galant’s cabin design. The Galant is expected to mirror the latest Outlander’s single binnacle style, with a high-mounted central touchscreen living in a piano-black housing.
The climate controls live on the lower edge of this high-mounted vertical control face, with cup holders and gearstick in a separate center console below.
The Galant may trade the front-mounted cup holders for a wider console, but overall styling will keep the new high-quality black plastics used elsewhere in the Outlander. Build quality and durability should be excellent, but standard equipment will include cloth seats and a conventional radio unit.
Many of the Outlander’s active safety features are expected to be offered on the Galant, including collision prevention and active cruise control.
Fitting the Outlander’s large PHEV battery in the Galant will present a challenge, possibly including a trunk as small as the Accord Plug-In Hybrid at 8 cubic-feet. (About half what a large trunk usually offers).
The styling of the Concept ZT offers all the drama and presence of the top luxury marks, and even shares the long and luxurious proportions of the upcoming Cadillac CTS from some angles. The concept’s 110.8-inch wheelbase and luxury-size overall length and width are actually spot on the dimensions of the plus-sized latest Accord and Camry.
The concept’s aluminum space frame chassis is dropped for production in favor of a high-strength steel design that brings more cabin room and a bench seat for three in back, versus two for the tech-laced ZT’s rear bucket seats.
The shield grille design will carry over to production to help give the Mitsubishi sedan some of the planted stance from its Lancer Evolution sibling. The production Galant is expected to keep the chrome-trimmed, full-frame trapezoidal grille of the Evo but make it wider and a bit more flowing to match the bumper and fender graphics. A painted middle bumper breaks up the shape, while concave gloss black grille bars create a cohesive and upmarket image.
A single shoulder crease will wrap the styling of the body sides and slow directly into the lamp and bumpers as on the latest Outlander’s exterior. Proportions of the production Galant will take a step toward mainstream versus the concept, with a less-raked rear glasshouse as well as more feasible side mirrors and wheels.
Out back, integrated exhaust finishers are expected in the techno-sharp bumper design, while the Outlander Sport-syle LED taillights wrap the boxed trunk shape in a premium and futuristic way. Integrated creasing to wrap the lights and bumper should offer an end point to the long shoulder-line that flows from the front.
While diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid and the TC-SST gearbox all made appearances on future Mitsu sedan concepts recently, the U.S.-market Galant will launch with conventional gasoline engines that mirror the Outlander. The base 166-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with a CVT automatic for a projected 9.1 second sprint to 60 mph but highway cruising economy at a projected 31 mpg.
The Galant GT (using the trim descriptions from the Outlander) will offer a smooth-revving aluminum V-6 displacing 3.0 liters. The 224-horsepower engine brings a conventional six-speed automatic for a quicker pace at all speeds, down to a 7.5-second projected 60 mph sprint time for this top engine.
Mitsubishi’s S-AWC all-wheel-drive system is compatible with this platform and makes sense on the GT trim level, with added performance and all-weather confidence. Its inclusion in the American-market Galant is not yet confirmed.
Hybrid power is possible a year or so after the car’s initial launch, with possible mild hybrid and full plug-in hybrid variants available. Mitsubishi is keen to leverage its expertise from the i-MiEV program across its core models, with even the next Evo tipped for electrification.
Source : Topspeed.com