Mitsubishi Motors plans to lift domestic output capacity of fuel-efficient lightweight vehicle engines by 35% to 385,000 units a year by sutumn 2009, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday without citing sources.

According to Thomson Financial, the report said the automaker intends to spend JPY9bn yen (US$84.2m) at its engine plant in Shiga Prefecture to achieve the increase.

The engines are to be fitted mainly in strategic vehicles such as the Lancer sedan and Outlander sport utility vehicle for export to Europe, resource-rich nations and elsewhere, the paper said.

Mitsubishi Motors makes 1.8-, 2- and 2.4-litre versions of the so-called World four-cylinder engines, which were co-developed with Daimler and Hyundai Motor.

The automaker uses aluminium instead of cast iron for some parts to make the engines 15% lighter, the Nikkei noted.