But the revamp will be achieved without substantial manufacturer or dealer investment. Mitsubishi, which is looking to add 20 dealers to its 126-strong network, says the motor industry wastes a fortune by over-spending before new car launches.
“We have begun our preparation programme and there is a lot to do before the new car arrives,” says Paul Williams, sales and marketing director at Mitsubishi Motors UK.
“But our dealers do not have to build new showrooms or take on lots of new sales and aftersales staff and new technicians. What they must do is make the most of what they have and maximise efficiency through changes to staff rotas and in the workshop.”
The company expects to sell at least 15,000 of the superminis a year in the UK. It says the car, which will be built at Nedcar sharing a platform with a four-door Smart, will change the emphasis of the franchise, just as the Carisma did in the 1990s.
Sporting versions will build on the success of the brand's rally-inspired EVO models.