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Open-air cars are a lot of fun unless that exposure comes as a surprise.
You may love that new car smell, but don’t breathe in too deep – it could make you sick.
Automakers sometimes use volatile chemicals in its cars’ interiors and there’s a study out from the Ecology Center that lists the worst offenders and the safest bets. The problem with that “new car smell” is that it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for breathing, especially when it’s confined to such a small place – like a car.
Making the worst list are the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the Chrysler 300C and the Kia Soul. In the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Ecology Center states that its interior “contained bromine and antimony-based flame retardants in the seating and center console; chromium-treated leather on several components; and over 400 ppm lead in seating materials.”
But you can breathe easy in certain vehicles. On the safest cars list, from an interior chemical standpoint, are the Honda Civic, the Toyota Prius and the Honda CR-Z.
You can see what cars make the worst and best lists after the jump.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
Already shown in different markets with different names, Mitsubishi has now revealed what it will call the Outlander Sport for the North American market. A compact crossover, slotting in under the current Outlander model, the new Outlander Sport is a different vehicle (and not just another trim level), with its own unique style. Interestingly, however, it does ride on the current Outlander platform and actually boasts the same overall wheelbase, even though it is roughly 15-inches shorter in length. The reduced size, therefore, has come from the overhangs, making the Outlander Sport inherently more exciting to drive.
Power for this new crossover comes from Mitsubishi’s 2.0-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder with 148-hp and 145 ft-lbs of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a “6-speed” CVT (with paddle shifters) comes on the up-rated SE model. Mitsubishi expects the new crossover to get an impressive 31-mpg on the highway.
One reason for the impressive fuel economy is the CUV’s light weight. At 3,042-lbs, it’s roughly 130 lbs less than the new Hyundai Tucson – which is already considerably lighter than much of the competition.
Entry level models will be front-drive, but Mitsubishi will offer SE models with its All-Wheel Control (AWC) 4WD system. Drivers will be able to select from 2WD, 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock for different driving environments.
Standard features on the all-new Outlander Sport include electronic power steering, stability control, hill start assist, 7 airbags and a regenerative braking system that reduces load on the alternator. Also standard are HID headlights. SE models will get items like 18-inch wheels and a push-button ignition, plus optional goodies like a 710 watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.
During the car’s unveiling in New York, Mitsubishi North America President and CEO Shinichi Kurihara commented that after a tough time the past two years the company is looking to move from survival mode to growth mode, with the new Outlander Sport being the first of three all-new vehicles over the next few years. Kurihara even commented that with the expanding compact crossover segment, Mitsubishi hopes the Outlander Sport will become its highest volume model.
GALLERY: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Official release after the jump:
Next week Mitsubishi will launch a new compact crossover in North America called the Outlander Sport. Already unveiled in Japan (as the RVR) and in Europe at the Geneva Auto Show (as the ASX), the new crossover gets yet another name for North America. We have to wonder what the marketing folks at Mitsu are thinking with all these different names, and why they would want to confuse customers with the Outlander Sport name – considering Mitsubishi already sells the Outlander and the Outlander GT (which are completely different models).
In Europe, the Outlander Sport/ASX comes with either a 150-hp 1.8-liter turbo-diesel engine (the first with variable valve timing), and a 116-hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine. We expect, however, that in North America it will be offered with the company’s 168-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.
We won’t know for sure until next week and we’ll be sure to spill all the goods once we get them, with live coverage of the 2010 New York Auto Show starting March 31st.
GALLERY: Mitsubishi ASX Debut in Geneva
Mitsubishi displayed the new ASX at the Geneva Auto Show. Leaked photos made their way online last week but we’ve got live images of the crossover, expected in North America as the Outlander Sport.
Europeans will have the option of a 150-hp 1.8-liter turbo-diesel engine (the first with variable valve timing), and a 116-hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine for the ASX. The diesel model also gets a variable turbine geometry turbo, as well as a start-stop system, regenerative braking, low rolling resistance tires and electric power steering. Both versions will be available in front- and all-wheel drive.
The North American model, which will be known as the Outlander Sport, will likely debut at the New York Auto Show at the end of March.
Gallery: Mitsubishi ASX / Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Images and details of the new Mitsubishi ASX (to be called the Outlander Sport in North America) have leaked online before the car’s Geneva Auto Show debut next week. Several images of the Japanese version of the car have already appeared online (with the ASX called the RVR in Japan), but these photos clearly show a European model.
In Europe, the ASX will be offered with both a 150-hp 1.8-liter turbo-diesel engine (the first with variable valve timing), and a 116-hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine. The diesel model also gets a variable turbine geometry turbo, as well as a start-stop system, regenerative braking, low rolling resistance tires and electric power steering. Both the gasoline and diesel engines will be offered with either front-drive or all-wheel drive.
These ASX photos give us an even closer look at what the North American spec Outlander Sport will look like when it reaches out shores – likely debuting at the New York Auto Show at the end of March. At that time, we expect Mitsubishi to announce the engine for North America will be the company’s 168-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, although we’re hoping for something a bit more exciting.
We’ll bring you more on this car with full coverage of the Geneva Auto Show starting March 1st.
GALLERY: Mitsubishi ASX
With Mitsubishi’s Outlander crossover a relative behemoth in the compact crossover category, the company has announced plans to bring a smaller CUV to market. Like the Outlander, it will be based on the Lancers chassis and its design will follow along the lines of the Concet cX (above), that was first shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2007.
Power will come from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the vehicle will be offered in both front and all-wheel drive.
In a rather confusing marketing move, the Japanese automaker has decided to keep the Outlander name for this new crossover, but add the title, “Sport.”
The Outlander Sport will go on sale in Japan in February with sales starting in North American in the Fall of 2010. The car’s official debut will happen the Geneva Auto Shwo this coming March.
[Source: Automotive News via Car & Driver]