2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport production kicks off in Normal, Illinois

Article by Christian A., on July 18, 2012

As part of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s plan to eventually double the output of the plant in Normal, Illinois, and make it into an export hub, it has started to produce the Outlander Sport compact sport utility vehicle there. In a statement, Mitsubishi said that it hopes to increase the plant’s output by 60% to 50,000 vehicles in the first year, compared to the 31,000 built in 2011.

Mitsubishi’s spokesman said that the global Outlander Sport model joined the Galant, Endeavor and other vehicles built particularly for North America. The company said that about 50% of the plant's total output would be exported to markets like Russia, Latin America and the Middle East. The automaker said that the 2013 Outlander will arrive in U.S. dealerships in early August.

Mitsubishi Motors predicts that annual production will later increase to 70,000 vehicles, or 100% of capacity, using the present work force of the plant. When the Illinois plant was at its peak, it had the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles a year on two lines. Mitsubishi Motors’ sales in developed markets had been falling. Just last week, it revealed that it is selling its NedCar factory in the Netherlands to VDL Group, a local bus maker, for only 1 euro.

For customers who lead an active lifestyle or even in young families in general, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a good option not only because it has that style but it also has the fuel economy and ride quality of a well-engineering vehicle combined with the versatility and space of an SUV. There are a number of safety features fitted as standard like the driver knee airbag, side-impact airbags mounted on the front seat, and the curtain side airbags that come with roll-over sensors.

On the front there is also the advanced SRS airbags that comes with sensors that can detect the weight of the passenger or the position of the driver. Safety systems include the Active Stability Control (ASC); anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist (HSA), and Traction Control Logic (TCL).

Mitsubishi revealed that all Outlander Sport models will have the same equipment included as standard like the alloy 18-inch wheels on the outside as well as the stunning use of LED on the tail lamps. On the inside, we see the steering wheel and the shift knob that has been wrapped in leather with the former having the cruise control and the audio controls mounted to it.

The new model allows for a remote keyless entry with the outside mirrors being heated. Air conditioning is excellent and is fitted with the micron filter. Electric Power Steering (EPS) is included; one interesting feature is the FUSE Handsfree Link System. What this does is allow cell phone and iPod operation through voice activation.

In terms of design, the new 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is exceptional as the whole front fascia has been redesigned especially when compared to the previous generation. For instance, while the trademarked trapezoidal grille opening is still there, it now comes in a cleaner and simpler shape. The same is true of the recessed housings of the fog lamp. What is sure to attract customers is the new chrome trim that borders the fog lamps.

Much like the front, the rear fascia has been redesigned as well in order to balance out any changes done on the front. One such change is the addition of side sills in black. Overall, the way the front and the rear fascia were redesigned allows the Outlander Sport's already athletic appearance to be enhanced further, thus differentiating it from its normal looking rivals. Available in either an all-wheel drive version or a front-wheel drive variant, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has fuel mileage rated by the EPA at highway 31 mpg.

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