Mitsubishi's new Outlander could herald the return of Ralliart

·2 min read

Mitsubishi is on the cusp of reviving its dormant Ralliart performance line, and a new report suggests the label will return on a sportier version of the latest Outlander PHEV. The model could make its debut in late 2021.

Ralliart's unexpected revival was announced during a presentation made to investors in May 2021, though no further details were released. Japanese magazine Best Car learned from unnamed sources that the new Outlander PHEV (pictured) expected to break cover in the coming months will be the first Ralliart-branded model in several years.

How Mitsubishi will make the Outlander PHEV worthy of a name rooted in rallying remains to be seen. The transformation will include a race-inspired body kit, according to Best Car, and we're hoping more power from the electrified powertrain is part of the equation as well.

While the Ralliart label could merely denote a sporty-looking trim level, like Mercedes-Benz's AMG Line designation or F Sport in Lexus-speak, there's a chance it will sooner or later be linked to racing. Mitsubishi boss Takao Kato revealed his team is considering returning to the rallying scene in the coming years to renew ties with the company's racing heritage. He stressed a rally program hasn't been approved yet, partly because racing is expensive, and he clarified that a new Lancer Evolution is not in the cards even though shareholders are requesting one.

Interestingly, we should have seen the Outlander Ralliart already; it was reportedly scheduled to be unveiled at the 2021 edition of the Tokyo Motor Salon but the event was canceled due to pandemic-related concerns. Mitsubishi could keep the model under wraps until the 2022 show opens its doors, or it might introduce it elsewhere a little earlier. Regardless, if the report is accurate we won't have to wait long to find out how Ralliart has been reinvented.

As for the next Outlander PHEV, it will land in late 2021 first in Japan and arrive in U.S. showrooms halfway through 2022.

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