Mitsubishi's XFC: The Next Big Thing in the Indonesian SUV Market?

Alessandro Dambrosio & Mitsubishi XFC Concept Mock-upAlessandro Dambrosio & Mitsubishi XFC Concept Mock-up

Jakarta, - Mitsubishi is apparently seeking to replicate the success of the Xpander in Indonesia by launching the XFC Concept. Joining the SUV segment, the XFC will sit above the Xpander but below the Pajero.

After making its global debut in Vietnam at the end of 2022, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has now officially introduced the Mitsubishi XFC Concept in Indonesia. The compact SUV was exhibited during the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) at JIExpo Kemayoran Jakarta from February 16 to 26, 2023.

Judging from the pattern, Mitsubishi seems to want to repeat the success of the Xpander, by listening to input from Indonesian consumers. The XFC will fill the 5-passenger SUV segment with smaller dimensions. Although still a concept, many people are already enthusiastic about the leaked features that will be brought by the potential Xpander's sibling.

The Mitsubishi XFC Concept offers a strong "Silky & Solid" design, "Compact & Spacious" cabin interior with premium class comfort, as well as "Smart & Quality Comfort" technology and performance that support user adventures. In line with its tagline, "the best companion for a fun life."

"XFC Concept can be a pleasant companion to take wherever we want. Hopefully, this product brings new excitement," said Guntur Harling, General Manager of Product Strategy Division PT MMKSI in his presentation at the IIMS booth on (17/2).

The XFC Concept offers excellent handling thanks to high ground clearance with large diameter wheels, symbolizing toughness and agility in traversing all types of road surfaces and breaking through various weather conditions.

The L-shaped headlights are combined with a stack of Daytime Running Lights (DRL) at the bottom, so from a distance, they look like an iconic T-shape. The body sides are muscular with front and rear flare fender carvings and character lines that express the strength and dynamism of an SUV. Then the front and rear overhangs look narrow, so the car looks like it has wide tracks. Meanwhile, the back is also equipped with T-shaped taillights as a symbol of breadth and stability.

Although the body size looks compact, the Mitsubishi XFC offers comfort with a spacious and futuristic cabin, in line with the concept it carries, namely smart interior and quality comfort. Legroom in the rear seats is also relatively spacious in its class.

Luxurious impressions are presented through fresh components such as visual mirror sections on the dashboard, an instrument cluster that integrates with the dashboard monitor, and controllers like a computer mouse in the center console.

The instrument panel is designed horizontally, making it easy to feel changes in the vehicle's posture when passing through uneven roads, while improving visibility. The large screen panel displays information such as navigation, road surface conditions, and others.

"With innovative design, we hope the XFC Concept can be a game-changer in the compact SUV class," said Guntur.

The engine uses a 1,500 cc capacity with two variants, namely gasoline and hybrid engines. There are four driving modes, including Normal, Gravel, Mud, and Wet. Where the Wet mode is a special feature designed for road conditions in ASEAN countries in general. This mode will provide comfort and a sense of security when driving in extreme weather. Its stability control is also good when driven on slippery roads, making it comfortable for drivers and passengers.

Hikaru Mii, Director of Product Strategy Division PT. MMKSI guarantees that all major designs from the XFC concept will be very similar to its mass-produced version later. The same as the Xpander, which is similar to the Mitsubishi XM Concept.

"Like when we developed the Xpander, we took consumer feedback very seriously in the development of the XFC. The contributions and input from the FGD Group were greatly valued," said Hikaru.

The Xpander is currently Mitsubishi's best-selling car in Indonesia, with the Xpander Cross as its highest variant. Mitsubishi's sales figures continued to soar throughout 2017, thanks to the success of the Xpander.

Before the name Xpander was used, Mitsubishi used the name XM Concept, which was touted as having futuristic design and features. The XM Concept was a huge success, with tens of thousands of people ready to buy it at the time.
Former Mitsubishi Xpander mock-up named XM Concept. Now Xpander became the volume maker of Mitsubishi Indonesia (MMKSI)

After being introduced in October 2016, the mass-produced version of the Xpander finally debuted in August 2017 with details that were identical to the concept version. Sales continued to rise, with consumer input being taken into account as Mitsubishi added more variants to the Xpander, including the Sport MT and GLS AT, followed by the Xpander Cross in 2019.

The XFC is expected to fill the segment above the Xpander Cross. The difference is that the XFC can carry 5 passengers, while the Xpander can carry 7. The Xpander targets the low MPV class with an SUV-like appearance, while the XFC is in the true SUV class. Its price is estimated to be around Rp400-Rp500 million.

With all the mentioned specifications, will the XFC repeat the success of the Xpander and compete with other rivals in its class? It's interesting to wait and see.(*)