It appears that after years of abandoning high-performance turbocharged engines in favour of economical, fuel-sipping naturally-aspirated mills, Mitsubishi is finally going back the forced induction route, if a report by Automotive News is to be believed.

According to the publication, company executives told dealers in the United States in a meeting on Sunday that a range of turbocharged engines would be introduced there, beginning with a 1.5 litre turbo engine set to debut on a new crossover in 2018. The dealers claimed that the new car, which was shown during the meeting, would slot in between the next-generation ASX and Outlander.

Also revealed were plans for a turbocharged 1.1 litre engine for the next Mirage and Attrage, along with a larger turbo mill for the next Outlander. All three are set to go into production around 2019.

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) executive vice president Don Swearingen told attendees that he and CEO Ryujiro Kobashi were going to travel to Japan this month to persuade the carmaker to build the turbo engine for the Outlander.


Swearingen stated in an interview that the company needs the engine to push the Outlander upmarket in the face of stringent fuel economy standards. “Everybody in the industry is going to be going even further in this direction,” he said.

Executives told dealers that the US is Mitsubishi’s largest market and a profitable one, making it an ideal place for the Japanese carmaker to invest – despite only selling about 100,000 vehicles there annually. “They know we’re their best chance,” said Mitsubishi dealer council chairman and general manager of O’Brien Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois, Ryan Gremore. “You put your resources where you get your best results.”

More good news for US dealers came with an increase in marketing budget for 2016, with dealers urged to increase local and regional advertising. Finally, during a dealer council meeting the day before, Mitsubishi presented images of new, sportier trim packages planned for the Mirage, Attrage and ASX – they would be badged “SAM,” or “special action model.”

Looks like the Japanese are entering the realm of turbocharged engines in a big way recently – Honda is also going the blown route, with the 173 hp/220 Nm 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo in the new Civic and the insane 310 hp/400 Nm 2.0 litre mill in the Civic Type R. What do you think of Japan’s turbo resurgence?