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Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

383,000-1,450,000 baht/unit

Address: 88, Phaholyothin Rd., Khlong Nueng, Pathum Thani 12120 Thailand

Tel: +6625299xxx Click to view phone number

Service day: Everyday

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Mitsubishi confirms baby SUV for 2017

XM Concept previews new crossover mixing SUV styling and MPV practicality, with production starting in October in Indonesia next year.

How many more concepts will Mitsu be previewing?

We’re not too sure. But one thing’s for certain: Mitsubishi has confirmed that it will be making a small SUV at its new plant in Indonesia from October next year.

What you here in an official picture is the XM Concept, the latest in a series of design and technical prototypes previewing a small crossover to take on the Ford Ecosport, Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3.

The XM Concept makes its world premiere at this month’s Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show.

Will the real article seat seven people?

Yes it will, which is why Mitsubishi is promoting the XM Concept with the MPV acronym. In Indonesia, there are tax breaks for vehicles that can accommodate seven or more seats.

But just to ensure that the production-ready model will be relevant as much as possible by the end of 2017, Mitsubishi has additionally injected SUV looks into the XM Concept.

The show car features the brand’s so-called Dynamic Shield front end (also seen in today’s Pajero Sport pickup-based SUV), flared fenders and raised body – all for the sake of SUV ruggedness. In fact, the last aspect is crucial for developing countries like those in Asean where bumpy and unpaved roads are still common.

It could also serve as a BR-V rival…

Yes it could, as the XM Concept is being billed as a seven-seater (no picture of the interior has been revealed yet) like the Honda BR-V. The key equation would be: SUV styling plus MPV practicality equals new-age crossover.

No technical details have been discussed, either. But the possibilities are quite wide. Previously, Mitsubishi has shown similarly-sized concepts with downsized petrol-turbo engine, hybrid version with plug-in facility and full-electric variant.

Of course, Mitsubishi could make good use of the 1.8-litre petrol engine from the discontinued Lancer C-segment saloon as there’s a tax discount for E85-compatible motors in Thailand.

But as the country is now contemplating the EV trail, there might be a good chance that Mitsubishi will be looking at some sort of electrified drivetrain for its new crossover.

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88, Phaholyothin Rd., Khlong Nueng, Pathum Thani 12120 Thailand

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