Feast your eyes on the 2023 Renault Captur. Oh, wait, it’s got a Mitsubishi badge.
TOKYO – We live in an era where badge engineering is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon as car brands pool resources to keep costs in check.
We’ve always admired the way that the Volkswagen Group shares resources between its brands, with many products using the same oily and electronic bits, but with exterior and cabin styling, and even chassis tuning, being differentiated to the point where the cars still had their own unique identities.
Sadly other automotive giants don’t appear to be following their lead, as differentiating a design comes with additional tooling costs and bean counters want to squeeze every cent out of the equation, even if it means diluting brand identities.
The latest vehicle to fall down the badge engineering rabbit hole is the Mitsubishi ASX, which has been revealed for European markets. It is essentially a rebadged version of the second-generation Renault Captur, which has not been launched in South Africa as yet. Apart from a slightly reworked grille with Mitsubishi badging, there is little to tell this vehicle apart from its French cousin.
As a product of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the new ASX was ‘designed’ primarily for European markets and will be built alongside the Captur at Renault’s Valladolid plant in Spain. At this stage there is no word on whether the new SUV will reach South African shores.
ASX buyers will get to choose from a wide variety of powertrains, including a 1.0-litre turbopetrol at entry level, a mild hybrid 1.3 turbopetrol as well as conventional closed-loop hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, both of which pair two electric motors with a normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Also as per the Captur, the cabin includes a smartphone-link Display Audio infotainment system as well as a range of electronic driver aids, including the MI-PILOT single-lane driver assistance system for freeways, which combines Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Assist.
“ASX (RVR or Outlander Sport in some markets), a compact SUV, is one of Mitsubishi Motors’ core models which was introduced to Europe in 2010,” Mitsubishi said.
“Based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-B platform, the new ASX is a compact SUV supplied by Renault and developed specifically for the European market.”