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Is this the 2016 Mitsubishi Montero Sport?

Whether the Montero Sport will return to the United States is up in the air.

Images leaked out of a patent office have given us the best look yet at the 2016 Mitsubishi Montero Sport.

The next Montero Sport will be based on the L200 pickup that's sold in a number of global markets so it will retain the current model's rugged body-on-frame construction. The front end will get a much more aerodynamic design inspired by the 2016 Outlander and the upcoming Outlander Sport, while the rear end will boast an upright hatch and vertical tail lamps that stretch from the belt line all the way down to the bumper. All told, Mitsubishi appears to have designed the most style-focused Montero Sport ever.

Mechanically, the Montero Sport will be offered with four-cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines borrowed from the Japanese automaker's parts bin, and a V6 will be offered in select markets. Both two- and four-wheel drive models will be available.

Mitsubishi is expected to introduce the next Montero Sport online this summer, and the SUV will greet the public for the first time next September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Sport will go on sale globally before the end of the year, but it's too early to tell whether it will return to the United States.

What's next?

The Montero Sport will be followed by a brand new version of the full-size Montero that left our shores about a decade ago. Heavily inspired by the GC-PHEV concept, the Montero will be positioned as a Land Rover LR4 for buyers on a budget. It will feature body-on-frame construction, a generous amount of ground clearance and an available plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

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