Fission at low excitation energy is an ideal playground to probe the impact of nuclear structure on nuclear dynamics. While the importance of structural effects in the nascent fragments is well established in the (trans-)actinide region, the observation of asymmetric fission in several neutron-deficient pre-actinides can be explained by various mechanisms. To deepen our insight into that puzzle, an innovative approach based on inverse kinematics and an enhanced version of the VAMOS++ heavy-ion spectrometer was implemented at the GANIL facility, Caen. Fission of 178Hg was induced by fusion of 124Xe and 54Fe. The two fragments were detected in coincidence using VAMOS++ supplemented with a new SEcond Detection arm. For the first time in the pre-actinide region, access to the pre-neutron mass and total kinetic energy distributions, and the simultaneous isotopic identification of one the fission fragment, was achieved. The present work describes the experimental approach, and discusses the pre-neutron observables in the context of an extended asymmetric-fission island located southwest of 208Pb. A comparison with different models is performed, demonstrating the importance of this new asymmetric-fission island for elaborating on driving effects in fission.