Mitsubishi is planning to launch the ‘Mirage’ global small car in India in the next couple of years. When launched, the Mirage will be the first product from Mitsubishi in the small car segment.
“We have a global hatchback (Mirage), which is being unveiled this month in Thailand. We’re looking at the feasibility of bringing that to India and are considering both the sedan and the hatch versions,” Masahiko Ueki, Corporate General Manager of Asia, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, was quoted as saying by The Business Line.
He stated that Mitsubishi needs more sales outlets to generate volumes and a proper infrastructure to market the small car. Mitsubishi needs some more time (2 or 3 years) to launch the car in India. Also read: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport launched at Rs.23.53 lakh!
Mitsubishi is exploring options for a second manufacturing plant in India. The company is also planning to have a sedan version of the Mirage hatchbacks and exploring possibilities of making India as its export hub. The company may make investments on its own or with its partner, but nothing has been decided yet.
Mitsubishi unveiled the Mirage small car at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show during last November. The Mirage was developed to fit the needs of small car buyers in emerging markets. The Mirage’s key aspects include compactness, affordability and high fuel efficiency. The Mirage will go into production in Thailand, in April 2012.
The Mirage is a contemporary looking car with a clamshell bonnet, side swept headlamps and small front grille. The round fog lamps have a body colored housing while the curved lower air dam, gives the Mirage an attractive look. Also read: Mitsubishi Global Small – India-bound small car unveiled
The side profile of the Mirage reveals the rising shoulder line and mildly pronounced wheel arches. The car’s rear has a large bumper as seen on the Maruti Suzuki A-Star and a radically designed tail lamp cluster. The rear windshield has small glass area limiting the driver’s vision while reversing the car.
The Mirage measures 3,710 mm in length, 1,665 mm in width and 1,490 mm in height. Size wise, the Mirage is comparable to the Nissan Micra.
Space and comfort
The Mirage has black-beige interiors with a conventionally designed dashboard. The front and rear seats can be expected to offer good overall support for five passengers. The car also has decent luggage space and the rear seats can be folded for more space to carry luggage when needed.
The Thailand-specific Mirage is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol motor. There are no details about the power and torque specifications. The Mirage will be launched as an ECO CAR in Thailand which means it will have a mileage of around 20 kmpl and will emit less than 120 gm of CO2 per km. The India-bound car can be expected to have a 1.2-litre petrol motor initially followed by a diesel motor in later stages.
Mitsubishi has been in the Indian car market for almost a decade but has less than 1 per cent market share. This can be partly attributed to the lack of a small car, especially in a market where more than 70 per cent of all cars sold are hatchbacks priced in the range of Rs. 2 lakh – 6 lakh.
With the launch of Mirage in the next couple of years, Mitsubishi may be able to attract more buyers. The company may grab a significant market share in India provided it manufactures the car locally with a high degree of localization, expands its dealership network and does aggressive marketing.