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Mitsubishi could preview the next Outlander Sport in Tokyo with a hybrid concept

Japanese media outlets are reporting┬áthat Mitsubishi will unveil the next part of its ambitious model offensive at this year’s edition of the Tokyo Motor Show.

The automaker will introduce a thinly veiled concept that will provide us with an accurate idea of what we can expect from the next Outlander Sport. A speculative rendering published by Japanese magazine Holiday Auto suggests the close-to-production concept will get a sharp-looking, X-shaped front end that will fall in line with recent additions to the Mitsubishi lineup such as the new Montero Sport and the 2016 Outlander.

What the concept will be powered by is anyone’s guess, but the most interesting aspect of the production model will be found by popping the hood. At launch, the Outlander Sport’s volume engine in most global markets is expected to be a 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 178 horsepower and a generous 317 pound-feet of torque. A gasoline-burning engine aimed largely at markets like the United States will also be offered.

Australian website Motoring reports the Sport lineup will quickly be expanded with a range-topping variant powered by a new, state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The gas-electric setup will consist of a pair of electric motors and a 1.6-liter turbo four that will function as a generator to top up the battery pack instead of driving the wheels directly. An evolution of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system will transfer power to all four wheels.

Insiders say the next Outlander Sport will handle almost as well as the iconic Lancer Evolution thanks to upgrades made to the S-AWC, including the addition of a brake pressure sensor on each wheel.

If the reports turn out to be true, more information about Mitsubishi’s yet-unnamed concept will be published in the next few weeks. The show car’s design will be toned down a little, and it will be presented as a production-bound model next year at the Geneva Motor Show.