Mitsubishi Field Guard

Mitsubishi Motors concepts are those prototype and concept cars exhibited around the world by Mitsubishi Motors. In common with other automakers, Mitsubishi has used concept cars as both show cars—stylistically adventurous motor show exhibits with no production intentions behind them—or as precursors of future models destined for mass production.[1]

The first Mitsubishi concept car was a two-seat convertible version of the Colt 600, which was introduced at the 9th Tokyo Motor Show in 1962 by Shin Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries,[2] one of the companies which would combine to form Mitsubishi Motors in 1970. Although the company had no intention of marketing it, the convertible helped attract the public's attention to the more mundane sedan.[2]

Latterly, Mitsubishi has exploited its heritage in its motor show exhibits, using vehicles from its past displayed in parallel with new model introductions. The Colt 600 convertible was brought out from the Mitsubishi Museum in 2005, alongside the new cabriolet version of the Mitsubishi Colt which debuted at the 75th Geneva Motor Show.[3][4] The following year they revisited the theme by promoting the newest version of their Mitsubishi Pajero sport utility vehicle alongside a 1934 Mitsubishi PX33, a pre-World War II military prototype which was the first Japanese sedan equipped with four-wheel drive.[5] They took the same approach a third time in 2007, with the tenth iteration of the rallying-derived Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. It was exhibited at the North American International Auto Show in 2007 alongside the Mitsubishi Lancer 1600 GSR, which gained renown after winning the Safari Rally in 1974.[6]

List of Mitsubishi concepts and prototypes



Automobile Debut Year Description
PX33 1934–37 A prototype passenger car commissioned for military use by the Japanese government.[7][8] It was the first Japanese-built sedan to have full time four-wheel drive.[5]
Colt 600 9th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1962 A two-seat convertible show car exhibited to attract attention to the new Colt 600 sedan. Never intended for production.[2]
SSW 23rd Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1979 A prototype people carrier which became the Mitsubishi Chariot.[9]
MP-90X 26th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1985 A streamlined sports car with an advanced navigation and telecommunications system.[10]
HSR 27th–32nd Tokyo Motor Shows
(Tokyo, Japan)
1987–97 An abbreviation of Highly Sophisticated-transport Research,[11] the HSR was a series of concept sports cars exhibited at consecutive Tokyo Motor Shows from 1987 to 1997, typically showcasing the company's engineering technologies.[11]
HSX 28th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1989 Based on the mechanicals of the HSR-II, the HSX was a near production-ready version of the 1990 Mitsubishi GTO.[12]
mR. 1000 29th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1991 One of a pair of complementary "his-and-hers" urban commuter cars alongside the mS. 1000, weighting about 650 kilograms (1,430 lb) and powered by a one litre aluminium engine. Although the two varied in styling and some technology, both followed the then-current Japanese fashion for retro design.[13][14]
mS. 1000 29th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1991 One of a pair of complementary "his-and-hers" urban commuter cars alongside the mR. 1000, weighting about 650 kilograms (1,430 lb) and powered by a one litre aluminium engine. Although the two varied in styling and some technology, both followed the then-current Japanese fashion for retro design.[13][14]
Libero EV 1993–96 One of Mitsubishi's first complete alternative propulsion-based prototypes; 36 wagons were manufactured and sold to power companies for evaluation during the 1990s.[15]
ESR 30th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1993 An abbreviation of Ecological Science Research, the ESR was a hybrid electric vehicle concept.[16]
Field Guard 30th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1993 An off-road vehicle styling exercise.
Lynx 30th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1993 An off-road kei car.
MUM 500 30th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1993 A two-seater kei car.
Gaus 31st Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1995 A prototype sport utility vehicle.[17]
Maus 31st Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1995 A two-seater microcar concept.
Technas 57th Frankfurt Motor Show
(Frankfurt, Germany)
1997 A Sport utility vehicle later exhibited as the TETRA.[18][19][20]
TETRA 32nd Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1997 A Sport utility vehicle first exhibited as the Technas.[18][19][20][21]
MAIA 32nd Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
1997 An abbreviation of Mini Advanced & Ideal Archetype, the MAIA is an evolution of the earlier Mitsubishi Maus microcar concept.[11]
SST North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
1998 The first concept vehicle exhibited by the company in the United States, the SST sports car was the precursor of the third generation Mitsubishi Eclipse.[22]
SSU North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
1999 The precursor of the Mitsubishi Endeavor sport utility vehicle.[23][24]
SUW Frankfurt, Tokyo Motor Shows
(Frankfurt, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan)
1999 A series of prototypes sharing certain common themes, specifically a GDI engine and increased interior space through the use of an unusually high roofline.[25][26][27]
FTO EV 1999 A BEV-powered version of the FTO sports car, which broke the world record for the most distance covered by an electric vehicle in 24 hours.[28]
SSS North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2000 The precursor of the ninth generation of the Mitsubishi Galant.[29]
ASX North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2001 One of a pair of complementary prototype crossover SUVs, alongside the RPM 7000. The ASX presaged the first Airtrek/Outlander, which was released in Japan later the same year,[30] while the more radical RPM 7000 was a styling exercise unconstrained by the demands of mass production.[31]
RPM 7000 North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2001 One of a pair of complementary prototype crossover SUVs, alongside the ASX. The RPM 7000 was a styling exercise unconstrained by the demands of mass production,[31] while the less radical ASX presaged the first Airtrek/Outlander which was released in Japan later the same year.[30] while the more radical
CZ2 35th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2001 Prototype urban car which presaged the next generation of Mitsubishi Colt.[32]
CZ3 Tarmac 35th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2001 A larger version of the CZ2, sharing the same platform but with more interior space and a larger engine. It was also a possible replacement for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution as the company's vehicle in the World Rally Championship.[32][33]
Space Liner 35th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2001 A concept multi-purpose vehicle which later became the Mitsubishi Grandis.[32]
SUP 35th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2001 A Compact SUV styling exercise, designed soon after the arrival of stylist Olivier Boulay to Mitsubishi, and which helped introduce his vision of the company's "corporate face" on their future vehicles.[32]
Eclipse EV Shikoku EV Rally, Shikoku, Japan 2001 Part of Mitsubishi's research into alternative propulsion, a Mitsubishi Eclipse fitted with lithium ion batteries and a permanent magnetic synchronous motor.[34]
Pajero Evo 2+2 58th Frankfurt Motor Show
(Frankfurt, Germany)
2001 A prototype of the racing car developed for Dakar Rally in 2003 following the introduction of new Super Production rules.[35][36][37]
FCV Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell (JHFC) Demonstration Project 2003 A Grandis-based fuel cell vehicle to participate in the JHFC Project in 2003, developed in partnership with DaimlerChrysler, the then-controlling shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors..[38][39]
Tarmac Spyder North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2003 A convertible version of the CZ3 Tarmac concept.[40][41]
"i" Concept 60th Frankfurt Motor Show
(Frankfurt, Germany)
2003 A prototype kei car which later became the Mitsubishi i.[42]
CZ2 cabriolet 73rd Geneva Motor Show
(Geneva, Switzerland)
2003 An open-topped version of the earlier CZ2 prototype.[43]
Se-Ro 37th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2003 An aluminium-bodied styling exercise based on the mechanical underpinnings of the Mitsubishi i prior to its release. It followed a classical aeronautical theme, with its name alluding to the Mitsubishi Zero fighter aircraft of World War II,[44] and its bodywork resembling an airship.[45][46]
Eclipse Concept-E North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2004 A concept car previewing the next generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse which was released in 2005.[47]
Sport Truck Concept North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2004 A mid-size prototype pickup truck intended to promote the announcement of the Mitsubishi Raider, although the concept truck shared no styling or mechanical components with the production vehicle.[47][48]
Goku Shin Ka
("The Ultimate Evolution")
Los Angeles Auto Show
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
2005 A combined sports car, convertible, pickup truck, and SUV.[49] The featured vehicle in a comic book created for the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show by staff at Mitsubishi Motors North America's Californian design studio.[50]
Nessie 75th Geneva Motor Show
(Geneva, Switzerland)
2005 A hydrogen-powered sport utility vehicle concept co-designed with Italian engineering firm Italdesign Giugiaro and German industrial gases company The Linde Group.[51]
Concept-Sportback 61st Frankfurt Motor Show
(Frankfurt, Germany)
2005 The precursor of the hatchback version of the Mitsubishi Lancer, being introduced to the European market in 2008.[52]
Colt EV 2005 A concept car using the company's MIEV in-wheel motor technology; the first car so equipped which was mooted for mass production and sale.[53]
Concept D-5 39th Tokyo Motor Show
Tokyo, Japan
2005 A pre-production version of the fifth generation of the Mitsubishi Delica multi-purpose vehicle.[54]
Concept-X 39th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2005 A protoype of the tenth generation of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.[55]
Concept-CT MIEV North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2006 A hybrid electric prototype based on the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive platform of the Mitsubishi i kei car.[56]
Concept-EZ MIEV 76th Geneva Motor Show
(Geneva, Switzerland)
2006 A compact monobox design, created to demonstrate the benefits of the company's MIEV in-wheel motor technology in giving greater interior space.[57][58]
Concept-cX 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show
(Frankfurt, Germany)
2007 A mini SUV designed to promote Mitsubishi's environmental credentials; the car used a clean-burning diesel engine which passed strict future emissions requirements, and featured an interior constructed largely from plant-based resins.[59]
Evolander SEMA Show
(Las Vegas, Nevada)
2007 A high performance version of the Mitsubishi Outlander.[60]
i MiEV Sport 40th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2007 A kei-class fastback using the Mitsubishi i platform and the company's MIEV alternative propulsion system.[61]
Concept-ZT 40th Tokyo Motor Show
(Tokyo, Japan)
2007 Not officially confirmed, but believed to be the precursor of the tenth generation of the Mitsubishi Galant,[62][63][64] and the Galant-based Mitsubishi 380 in Australia.[65]
Concept-RA North American International Auto Show
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
2008 Not officially confirmed, but believed to be the precursor of the fifth generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse.[66][67][68]
Prototype-S 78th Geneva Motor Show
(Geneva, Switzerland)
2008 A development of the Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback, the Prototype-S was the pre-production version of the Ralliart version of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer hatchback.[69]

Notes

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