Mitsubishi, America's nearly-left-for-dead Japanese brand, will offer Internet fans a remote-controlled test drive of a real 2011 Outlander Sport SUV next month, eliminating the difficulty and mild shame associated with shopping at an actual Mitsubishi dealer.

Mitsubishi says people selected for the test drive will "will enjoy the feeling of literally being in the driver's seat" of an $20,000 car-based crossover. In addition to steering around the closed course via an Internet link, operators "will be able to experience many of the Outlander Sport's deluxe features," like using touch-screen navigation or paddle shifters. Except that they won't, because they won't be in the car.

The line forms online Oct. 15 at outlandersport.com. Too bad Triumph's still on hiatus.

[Mitsubishi]