Debuting at the Mitsubishi stand at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show will be the new U.S.-spec 2014 Outlander crossover along with the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition. The new crossover not only wears a new face, but it's also been equipped with a new engine.

The new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander will come with seven-passenger seating as standard equipment. With a more aerodynamically efficient design, the 2014 Outlander also has a new version of Mitsubishi's MIVEC continuously-variable valve lift timing system, to achieve better fuel economy. Inside, the Japanese automaker has packed with CUV with a host of newly available technology including Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Also making its debut is the new 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition, which receives several visual upgrades. The compact crossover gets a blackout treatment to its side mirrors, center bumper, wheel arch trim, and roof rails. The Outlander Sport also has dark-chrome alloys, and "Limited Edition" badges. Inside, the limited-edition Outlander Sport gets aluminum brake pedals, leather parking brake lever, and available two-tone Dove Grey and Black leather seating surfaces. Changes have been made to the hardware too. Mitsubishi says acceleration will be smoother and quicker thanks to a new engine balancer shaft, and that the crossover gets an EPA-rated 31 mpg on the highway in front-drive form with the CVT. Go for the five-speed manual and the highway fuel economy drops by one mpg, and the all-wheel-drive/CVT model gets 24/29 mpg.

While the seven-passenger Outlander has been made to be more efficient, a hybrid variant is also on the way. The fuel-sipping Outlander's plug-in hybrid system achieves range and emissions performance close to that of the PX-MiEV II concept, which boasted a range of nearly 500 miles and a carbon emissions target of less than 50 g/km. If Mitsubishi brings the Outlander plug-in hybrid (pictured at right and below) to the U.S., it might help get the brand noticed in the crowded midsize crossover segment.

Mitsubishi has previously announced its plans to boost U.S.-market sales to 100,000 units or more a year, and with the new 2014 Outlander on the way, it may be on the right track.

Source: Mitsubishi