Mitsubishi may be going all out to cash in on the crossover craze, but it appears there’s still a bit of a racy streak left in it. The company reimagined its beloved Eclipse coupé as the sporty Eclipse Cross SUV – to the dismay of enthusiasts everywhere – and there will also be a high-performance, all-electric SUV using the hallowed Evolution nameplate.

Now, Japanese portal Response reports that the Mirage – currently a cheap-but-not-quite-cheerful budget hatchback – will be reintroduced next year. No, not as yet another SUV, but a small, sporty hatchback that will rival the Suzuki Swift and aim to recapture the magic of its illustrious forebears that seemed a mere, ahem, mirage in recent years.

The new Mirage is expected to take a few design cues from the Colt Ralliart

The next generation will ride on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s B version of the Common Modular Family (CMF-B) platform, shared with the new Nissan March and the next-generation Juke SUV. Response predicts an aggressive new look, with the brand’s “Dynamic Shield” face, Colt Ralliart-style overfenders and a large Evo-esque goalpost rear wing – although we think that would be reserved for a hotter version.

That’s because the expected engine offerings for the cooking models aren’t quite so spicy. There’s a 0.9 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol mill – likely the same one found in the new March – producing a claimed 95 PS, as well as a 1.5 litre four-pot turbodiesel. A fully electric version is also said to be in the works.