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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Look familiar? Mitsubishi Colt returns as rebadged Renault Clio

Colt name returns to the Old Continent for the first time in almost a decade after being first rumoured for a revival in 2017.

First mentioned as making a possible a return six years ago, Mitsubishi has officially revived the Colt nameplate as part of its expansive 16 model Challenge 2025 product strategy.

A key model for the Japanese brand that will be supplemented with the reveal of the new Triton bakkie on 26 July, the Colt adheres to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s “leader-follower” strategy announced three years ago and as is evident, debuts as a rebadged version of the recently updated Renault Clio.

Renault becomes Mitsubishi

Similar to the European-market ASX based on the Captur that debuted last year, the Colt retains the Clio’s dimensions and silhouette, though with a Mitsubishi specific Dynamic Shield-esque grille, headlights harking back to the previous Clio, a new front bumper and a block pattern motif for the LED fog lamps.

ALSO READ: Mitsubishi Colt returning in 2023 based on Renault Clio

At the rear, Mitsubishi has altered the light clusters and replaced the “Renault” and “Clio” scripting, as well as the diamond logo on the bootlid, with its three diamonds emblem, Mitsubishi lettering and Colt badge.

Revived Mitsubishi Colt revealed looking all too familiar
Smaller but still easy to spot differentiating tweaks have taken place at the rear. Image: Mitsubishi.

Also carried over, but with the Mitsubishi logo in the centre, are the wheels that range from 15-inch steelies with plastic covers, to 17-inch alloys.

Tech happy inside

Inside, the main difference involves the eschews of the Renault badge on the steering wheel for the Mitsubishi logo, with the rest of the cabin continuing unchanged from the Clio.

This means a choice of two infotainment systems; the basic seven-inch and portrait-style 9.3-inch, and two instrument clusters; the entry-level seven-inch and on higher-end derivatives, a ten-inch.

Depending on the trim level and market, available features consist of a heated steering wheel, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, wireless smartphone charger and integrated into both infotainment systems, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Revived Mitsubishi Colt revealed looking all too familiar
Mitsubishi badge on the steering wheel the main difference inside from the Clio. Image: Mitsubishi.

Notable safety and driver assistance features include a 360-degree surround-view camera system, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Park Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Choice of petrol or hybrid

On the power front, the Colt carries over three engines from the Clio, the sole omission being the 1.5 Blue dCi turbodiesel that sends its 74kW/260Nm to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

As such, the normally aspirated 1.0-litre petrol commences the range with outputs of 48kW/95Nm fed to the fronts through a five-speed manual ‘box. Claimed top speed is 160 km/h with the 0-100 km/h dash taking a leisurely 17.1 seconds.

Occupying the mid-range, the 1.0-litre turbo develops 66kW/160Nm and is mated solely to a six-speed manual. The claimed top speed is 180 km/h with the 0-100 km/h sprint taking 12.2 seconds.

Completing the range, the Colt receives the intricate hybrid powertrain from the Clio E-Tech that combines a normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine with a pair of electric motors developing a combined 38 kW, and driven by a 1.2-kWh battery.

The end result is combined system output of 107 kW transferred to the ground through the unique multi-mode transmission that loses the clutch and synchromesh for a dog ring design.

Combined with the two speeds provided by each electric motors, the ‘box becomes an effective six-speed automatic and helps propel the hybrid Colt from 0-100 km/h in 9.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 180 km/h.

EU only

It’s reveal also completing the pair of models its Renault sister brand will produce for it, production of the Colt will commence at the Bursa Plant in Turkey from September with a choice of five colours being offered; Onyx Black Metallic, Arctic White, Volcanic Grey, Royal Blue and Sunrise Red.

Pricing is expected at a later stage, though like the ASX, the Colt will marketed solely in Europe, therefore rendering it a no-no for South Africa.

NOW READ: Mitsubishi debuting six models in 2023 headlined by new Triton

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