Mitsubishi will give the production version of the Mitsubishi XM Concept – rumoured to be called the Mitsubishi Expander – its world debut at next month’s 2017 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS).

MMC claims that the “small crossover MPV” will be a class-leading model that combines the comfort and versatility of an MPV with the performance, strength and toughness of the company’s SUVs. It will “come loaded with MMC technology and MMC SUV knowhow,” the carmaker said. Mitsubishi has a strong 4×4 heritage and has of late turned itself into an SUV company.

Produced at MMC’s new factory in Bekasi, West Java, the upcoming Expander (if that’s the name) is set to hit Indonesian showrooms later this year. It will compete in the “Low MPV” segment in the Republic, which is the core of the country’s auto market dominated by the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Honda Mobilio and Suzuki Ertiga, among other small MPVs.

Mitsubishi says that its entrant will have a wider and larger body than seven-seater MPVs in the class, and will come with a “fully optimised variable interior” for class leading living space. There should be various seat/cargo configurations too.

The XM concept came with MMC’s Dynamic Shield face, with slit-like headlights, a large black “X” grille and chunky bumpers. The flared wheel arches and sculpted character line gives the car a strong look typical of an SUV. The black portion of the rear end has similarities with the eX Concept from Tokyo 2015.

From the teasers here, it’s clear that much of what was unique on the concept has been retained for the production car, minus some flashy showcar detailing. With sculpted fenders and a tall ride height, the Mitsubishi will be easily the most stylised and sculpted car in an utilitarian segment.

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The shape of the rear lights and its LED signatures are similar to the concept’s. The finalised XM also comes with two tiers of lighting – the top floor, connected to the grille, appears to be LED positioning lamps/daytime running lights. The large lamp cluster below, outside of the Dynamic Shield, looks like the main headlamps sitting above turn signals. The layout is unorthodox and is similar to that on the new Hyundai Kona.

This segment is not known for adventurous design, but the “Mitsubishi Expander” certainly looks interesting, and a lot cooler than its rumoured name. Like the Honda BR-V, this MPV is SUV flavoured, but MMC has real Dakar-winning off-roading heritage and this design is more thorough and modern.

This is almost going to be a guaranteed hit in Indonesia, but will a sub-RM100k seven-seater Mitsubishi do well in Malaysia too?

GALLERY: Mitsubishi XM Concept at IIMS 2017


GALLERY: Mitsubishi XM Concept official images