It’s the return of the Mirage name to the fold – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is set to debut its new Mirage at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. The name was of course first used for the Mirage series developed for resource/energy/space-saving and high-performance in a compact package, which made its debut in Japan in March 1978.

The new Mirage, the company says, inherits the essence of that first series – cleverly getting the most performance and function out of a limited space. The five-door compact hatch measures in at 3.7 metres long, 1.66 metres wide and 1.49 metres tall, and will be powered by a 1.0 litre three-cylinder MIVEC block, with Auto Stop & Go.

The design focuses on compactness, affordability, and high fuel efficiency, and Mitsu is looking at the global model to fit the needs of emerging markets as an affordable entry-level model as well as needs of advanced markets for fuel efficiency and low-CO2 emission.

The five-seater will come equipped with a CVT gearbox, wear 14-inch wheels and 165/65 series rubbers, and has a targeted top-of-class fuel efficiency (at least for the Japan domestic version) of 30 km per litre. The new Mirage will make its market debut in Thailand in March 2012 before entering other global markets.