Giving a little competition to BMW and its Concept Powder Ride and Concept Active Tourer Outdoor, Mitsubishi has its own ideas of what SUVs specially outfitted for winter and summer sports should look like. It has revealed those ideas in two new concept cars designed in cooperation with H360 Group. The Outlander Sport Summer Edition opens the door up for all kinds of adventure and fitness, while the Outlander Winter Edition is all about shredding snow.
Mitsubishi's ideas are a little more sport-focused and down-to-earth than BMW's. Instead of massive roof box sound systems and conceptual hatchback bike stands, the concepts stick to the basic roof wear. The Outlander Sport Summer Edition has a roof rack complete with his and her Trek mountain bikes, while the Outlander Winter Edition has his and her snowboards mounted up top.
Since the warm weather of summer tends to encourage a larger variety of sports, the Summer Edition is a full-fledged multi-sport mobile. Open the tailgate, and you'll find a storage system designed to hold all kinds of sports gear, including helmets, sneakers and yoga mats. A waterproof bin is built specifically for holding a life vest and wakeboard rope. Other equipment that is mounted and stowed around the interior includes a tennis racket, jump rope, kettlebell workout weights and resistance bands.
On the other end of the interior, a remote-controlled GoPro Hero3 is mounted to the dash for filming vehicle action. Pop it out of the mount, and you can also use it to film whatever adventure the Outlander Sport Summer takes you to. A workout USB is plugged into the port in front, and there's also a mounted iPad Mini that connects to the vehicle's integrated Wi-Fi.
The Outlander Winter Edition is focused around the specific sport of snowboarding. Its cargo area has an LED-lit metal shelf to hold snowboard boots, jackets, goggles, pants and gloves. For cold mornings that quickly make cold soup out of drive-up window coffee, the car includes a mini Keurig coffeemaker in back and an insulated Thermos in the center console. If your winter adventure includes a long trek up the mountain or into the forest, you can brew yourself a cup of coffee when you arrive at the trailhead and take it in your Thermos. The Winter Edition also has a dash-mounted GoPro, along with an iPhone 5 with camera lens in the armrest.
We won't be too hard on Mitsubishi, since these are just design exercises that it explicitly says aren't intended for production, but we are not sure that the trendy combination of integrated fitness center, bike closet and wakeboard stash will work for everyone in the target market. An SUV can fit all that stuff pretty well without the cute little cubbies and shelves that will probably be more annoying than useful for most purposes. And while a coffeemaker out in the trunk might come in handy on rare occasions, how about just a cup warmer to keep a regular cup of coffee hot on long, chilly commutes, like the ones you'll take every day of the winter.
On the actual automotive hardware side, both the Summer and Winter Editions are essentially stock Outlanders with a few cosmetic upgrades. The 5-person Summer Edition has a burnt orange body planted atop 20-inch graphite wheels shod in Nitto NT420S tires. Inside, it has a combination of black leather, gray suede, and burnt orange accents and stitching. The Winter Edition has brushed aluminum exterior trim, brushed silver 20-inch wheels with upgraded brakes and tires, black leather and gray suede seats with yellow stitching, body color interior trim, all-weather floor mats, and a ski pole grip shifting knob to add a little decorative cherry on top.
Amidst all the novelties and cosmetics, Mitsubishi doesn't mention what engine is running the show, so we're left to assume it's a stock engine, like the 2.0-liter MIVEC four-cylinder or 2.2-liter diesel.
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