Mitsubishi mulls selling Mirage sedan version in the US

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 17, 2013

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will show a sedan version of its Mirage compact car in Thailand to North American visitors to see whether it is suitable for export to the United States. The Japanese carmaker has started producing the Mirage sedan version at its Laem Chabang site in Thailand and will roll it out in the country next month.

The Laem Chabang site builds the Mirage hatchback for Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe and Japan. Mitsubishi will export the Mirage hatchback to the US this fall, and is mulling whether it would also do the same for the sedan version, a person familiar with the carmaker’s plan told Automotive News.

According to the source, Mitsubishi is concerned whether US drivers will receive the small three-cylinder 1.2-liter engine of the Mirage sedan. Since the sedan is slightly heavier than the hatchback, it will have a worse power-to-weight ratio. Aside from that, the layout of Mirage hatchback and sedan does not allow the installation of a larger engine.

A larger powerplant would have place Mirage hatchback and sedan in line with rival models powered by 1.4- to 1.6-liter engines. According to Mitsubishi, its vehicles offer better fuel economy and acceleration than rivals with larger engines since the Mirage hatchback and sedan are lighter than other segment offerings.

The Japanese carmaker will sell the sedan version of the Mirage in Thailand under the badge Attrage. The Attrage returns fuel economy of 22 kilometers per liter, or 52 mpg, under the New European Driving Cycle. This measurement does not convert directly into US fuel economy standards. EPA also has yet to rate the Mirage sedan.

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