The Mitsubishi Outlander is powered by a 2.4-litre petrol engine (project name 4B12) which was a part of the World Engine project incorporated by Mitsubishi, Daimler Chrysler and Hyundai in 2005. The engine block and basic engine spares were developed jointly by the trio, however the valves and manifolds was designed by Mitsubishi. The 4B12 is a 16-valve, DOHC engine with MIVEC (Mitsubishi’s name for variable valve timing) producing 170bhp and a maximum torque of 226Nm@4100rpm. This powerplant has a die-cast aluminum block, plastic cylinder head cover and intake manifolds and stainless steel exhaust manifolds, which make the engine lighter by 16kg, improving performance and efficiency.
The Outlander’s engine is highly responsive, this can be felt if you the tap the throttle at any engine speed. The engine torque stays above 160Nm throughout the rev range. The engine is inherently quiet; the silent chain drive and compact balancer module add to the low vibrations. During low load conditions, the valve overlap (when both the intake and exhaust valves both are open) is eliminated to increase the efficiency and at high speeds, the intake valve timing is advanced (opens earlier) and the exhaust valve timing retarded (delayed) for better performance. At cruising speeds, the valve overlap duration is increased to reduce pumping losses and better fuel efficiency. During our test, the Outlander clocked 0-100kph in 11.5 seconds and the quarter-mile run took 18.3 seconds.
(The car wasn’t tested on our regular test patch, hence the performance figures could vary)
The Outlander’s engine powers the wheels through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), (project name: INVESC III). The INVESC III is a programmed transmission which shifts depending on the road conditions and driving style to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and performance. Prod the throttle and the CVT shifts at higher engine speeds; be gentle with the throttle, and it will shift up quicker. This CVT is unique in the sense that it has fake ratios engineered into it for normal use – in conjunction with the fixed paddles behind the steering wheel, it makes shifting gears a joy. However, plant your right foot, and it reverts to typical CVT behaviour – the engine will rev to peak power and stay there while the gearbox lengthens the gearing gradually. This can make overtaking manouevres a slower-than-expected affair – this is the only thing we did not like about this transmission.
In our 30-50kph test, the Outlander took 3.0 seconds and in the 50-70kph run, the Outlander took 3.8 seconds. The Outlander's four wheel drive can be engaged with the knob placed ahead of the gear lever. Turning it further right activates the differential locks.
The Outlander's fuel economy is adequate considering it is a four-wheel drive SUV with an automatic transmission. We achieved 8kpl during the day that we had the car, but we'd love to spend some more time with it to put it through our regular cycle.