Newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors America, Inc., Pierre Gagnon, has announced that the carmaker's first new vehicle in its Project America series has now been named. The all-new, mid-sized Sport Utility Vehicle designed and built in North America for the American market will be called 'Endeavor'. Endeavor is expected to hit showrooms in early 2003 as a 2004 model.

"Endeavor will complement Mitsubishi's expanding line of SUVs and will compete aggressively in the growing mid-sized SUV market," said Gagnon. "Consumers in this segment will soon have another choice that is thoroughly Mitsubishi in its spirited performance and stylish design."

Endeavor will join a line of Mitsubishi SUVs that will soon include the Outlander entry-level SUV that is coming later this year.

Endeavor is expected to compete in the mid-sized SUV market against such vehicles as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Nissan's new Murano.

Endeavor will be powered by a V6 engine, and will be available as either a front-wheel-drive or an all-wheel-drive model. The model will share mechanical underpinnings with the next generation Galant.

Endeavor is the first vehicle coming to market under Mitsubishi Motors' Project America initiative. Project America represents a $1.4 billion investment by Mitsubishi Motors to develop vehicles in North America specifically for the North American market. Endeavor was conceived at Mitsubishi Motors design center in Cypress, Calif., engineered at Mitsubishi Motors research and development operation in Ann Arbor, Mich., and will be assembled at Mitsubishi Motors' plant in Normal, Ill.

Including Endeavor, Mitsubishi plans to launch seven new vehicles over the next three years in North America, four of which are part of the Project America initiative.