Mitsubishi will use the Geneva Motor Show in March to unveil the next-generation Outlander crossover. The new Outlander is said to be more fuel efficient and offer more equipment than the current version of Mitsubishi's midsize crossover.

The new Outlander's design maintains the same basic shape as the current model, but with an unusual front fascia treatment that creates a squashed-looking chrome grille and extremely narrow headlights. It will continue to offer three rows of seating, and interior quality is said to be improved thanks to tweaks like soft-touch materials, gloss-black appliques, and silver trim accenting. The next Mitsubishi Outlander also will receive more equipment like dual-zone air conditioning, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a forward collision braking system.

The European model will be powered either by a 2.0-liter gasoline or 2.2-liter diesel engine, with a six-speed automatic transmission and engine stop-start. Both two- and four-wheel drive will be available. Engine choices will likely be different when the new Outlander arrives in the U.S. market -- we will probably only get larger gasoline engines. The current U.S.-market Outlander offers a 168-hp, 2.4-liter inline-four and a 230-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 engine.

In addition, the next Mitsubishi Outlander will have a plug-in hybrid variant, set to launch in Japan later this year before arriving in Europe in 2013. The company hopes for an overall driving range of 496 miles. The system is roughly based on the PX-MiEV II concept shown at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, which could reportedly return as much as 141 mpg.

After it debuts in Geneva next month, the Mitsubishi Outlander goes on sale in Russia this summer, before arriving in Europe, Asia, and North American toward the end of 2012.

Source: Mitsubishi