Mitsubishi is set to add muscle to its best-selling small SUV, the ASX.
At a recent media event in South Australia, Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMA) head of corporate communications & government relations Karl Gehling told WhichCar that the company’s popular ASX SUV will soon be available with the same 2.4-litre engine used in the brand’s larger Outlander model.
A diesel-powered version of the diminutive five-seat five-door was dropped a year or so ago in favour of the 2.0-litre petrol engine lineup.
2020 Mitsubishi ASX
The larger capacity 2.4-litre S-MIVEC four should provide the lightweight ASX with a significant performance boost, producing 13 per cent more power (124kW) and 12 per cent more torque (220Nm) than the 2.0-litre engine.
No more specs have been confirmed, but it would be reasonable to assume the 2.4-litre engine would be partnered with a CVT automatic gearbox than sends power to the front wheels.
While an all-wheel-drive version is possible, it may push the price of the ASX up too close to that of the larger Outlander (below).
The current 2WD-only Mitsubishi ASX is now almost 10 years old, yet it remains the most popular small SUV in Australia with a whopping 17.1 per cent share of the small SUV market segment (to the end of August 2019)*, easily outselling newer competitors such as Mazda CX-3 (12.6 per cent) and Hyundai Kona (10.5 per cent), no doubt partly due to its sharp pricing and generous standard equipment levels.
The current ASX 2.0-litre range starts at $23,490 and moves through to $30,990.
While there’s no word yet on what the price premium would be for a 2.4-litre ASX, the fact that this engine will be the largest displacement in class can only help ASX retain its top-dog status in the small SUV segment.
However, the news also means that Mitsubishi will be sticking with the ageing ASX - itself derived from the previous generation Outlander - for the next couple of years at least. The company has updated the car several times over the last decade, but the base model ES, for example, still misses out on basics like autonomous emergency braking.
Mitsubishi ASX interior
Mitsubishi Motors deputy director for marketing and operations, Derek McIlroy, added that a request has been put to Japan to add a digital speedometer to the ASX’s multi-information display.
The updated MY20 ASX is expected to be revealed in October 2019.
*Source: FCAI VFACTS August 2019