- Mitsubishi is showing off seven outdoor-inspired vehicles at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, most of which will not be available in the United States.
- The Japanese automaker is showcasing a mix of all-electric kei cars and large SUVs with Ralliart dealer-fitted accessories.
- The Outlander Vision concept features a more powerful plug-in-hybrid powertrain with bigger wheels, brakes and a wider stance that makes the three-row SUV look aggressive and intimidating.
While Mitsubishi’s lineup in the US is barely large enough to band together to start a fire, the selection of kei cars and Delica minivans available in Japan is growing rapidly. Seven vehicles debuted at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, ranging from an all-electric concept to a plug-in-hybrid Outlander with all-terrain tires and a roof-mounted awning canopy.
The K-EV concept X Style is Mitsubishi’s latest generation of electric kei cars, or compact city cars. While that’s not something that’s readily available here, the K-EV is appealing because its toaster-like shape maximizes space in a small package. The copper-colored roof is meant to honor the complex guts of the electric motors that power it. The Japanese government regulates the exterior dimensions, horsepower and displacement of these cute-sized kei cars. Think Mitsubishi Mirage, but slightly smaller and better looking. Because of the regulations, the concept uses smaller hardware including 15-inch wheels that are bolted to the hub with just four lugs.
The Delica, which has not been sold in the US since the 1990s, is still being offered in the Japanese market as a compact minivan. The Delica D:5 Tough x Tough for the Tokyo salon was outfitted with Ralliart accessories that didn’t quite turn him into the Hulk but added a liftable suspension, 16-inch wheels, bumper guards and a roof awning. Though it might look more like a lunch box next to camping gear Toyota TundraDelica’s second and third rows fold flat to allow sleeping and essentially turn this minivan into a two-level tent.
On the really funky side of the Mitsubishi show is this minicab-MiEV B-Leisure kei car. The spirit of independence lives on in this one-person metal tent, built with a flat weight floor, table and chairs for remote work. The minicab also acts as a power supply to power kitchen appliances such as a kettle or coffee pot while keeping the laptop from running out of power. It might not be as exciting as the electric Ford F-150 Lightning which can power an entire house, but it’s still useful for the casual camper. Thanks to its electric drivetrain, the rear-drive Minicab is also remarkably quiet so as not to wake other campers or disturb the tranquility of those around them.
Mitsubishi also showed off some of the vehicles that are also available here in the US plug-in-hybrid SUV A Ralliart Outlander and the smaller Eclipse Cross highlighting the refined looks package. That Ralliart accessories catalog which pays homage to the legendary motorsports division offers a fun selection of rally-inspired parts. Ralliart decals, bright mudguards and a tailgate spoiler can be added as dealer-fitted options—if you’re shopping in Japan.
The less dramatic Outlander is also featured in Black Diamond paint with camping accessories from Ogawa, a Japanese outdoor brand. A roof basket, trailer hitch, and additional camping accessories help set this PHEV up for every neck of the woods, but the white-lettered Toyo Open Country all-terrain tires help mark its specialty.
If you’ve been wondering what an Outlander would look like after taking creatine supplements for a few months, the Vision Ralliart concept solves the mystery. More ground clearance, big JDM wheels and a dramatic rear diffuser attempt to match the intentions of this sport-tuned SUV. Mitsubishi says the Ralliart concept has additional horsepower and larger brake discs that are clamped by a large six-piston front caliper. Big 22-inch wheels and wider Yokohama Advan Sport performance tires give the Outlander a more aggressive appearance and attitude. A new front fascia and wider fenders make the Outlander look as intimidating as the Lexus LX F Sport.
We hope that some of the accessories and fun inside the Mitsubishi exhibition at the Tokyo Auto Salon will translate to something fun on this side of our giant rock. Until then, outdoor Outlander connoisseurs will be forced to add accessories to their SUV the old-fashioned way: with a pair of self-adhesive screws and too many trips to Harbor Freight.