In 2001, the new Airtrek crossover with front-wheel drive or plug-in four-wheel drive was introduced in Tokyo. The first development to create Airtrek was presented in the form of a concept, and then a prototype called Mitsubishi ASX. ASX is Active Sports Crossover. The release of Airtrek was a kind of commemoration of the beginning of reforms in the company, which set the task to take a fresh look at the design and construction of cars. Airtrek is a parquet SUV made on the basis of the sedan model Lancer Cedia.
He replaced Pajero Sport and is addressed to supporters of an active lifestyle. Under the hood Airtrek installed 4-cylinder engines of 2 liters and 2.4 liters of type GDI, each of which has modifications to the full and front-wheel drive. Transmission - only automatic quad-band INVECS II Sport Mode manutronic with the possibility of manual shifting.
On the variant with all wheel drive, an active center differential is installed, borrowed from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sports car. Airtrek dimensions: 4410x1750x1550 mm. Ground clearance 195 mm. The curb weight is 1745 kg.
The greatest attraction lies in its low body height of 1550 mm (with a railing on the roof - 1590 mm). In combination with an impressive appearance and large-diameter tires, the silhouette of a car with a low-set cabin looks original and extraordinary. Airtrek is available only in the 5-door version. Despite the outwardly compact dimensions of the body, allowing to use parking for small cars, there is enough space in the cabin for comfortable accommodation of tall people. The rear seats fold in various ways, under the boot floor and in the cabin a lot of "caches". The wheelbase of 2625 mm is the longest for this class, along with the Nissan X-Trail.
For this reason, the comfort of the rear seats can be called the highest for this class. Comfortable seat design and plenty of legroom. However, a large amount of space in the rear seats has a downside - reducing the amount of luggage. In 2002, the 2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine was added to the range of power units, which in the turbo version develops a power of 250 hp. Bearing body, transverse arrangement of the power unit, independent suspension of all wheels provides Airtrek good driving performance when driving on all types of roads and satisfactory cross-country ability.