The world’s first plug-in hybrid, the high-tech Outlander PHEV, heralds the beginning of a new era for Mitsubishi Motors and points to the advanced technology direction of its future product portfolio.
Following successful launches in Japan and Europe, the Outlander PHEV arrives locally as the most affordable and user-friendly application of plug-in hybrid technology ever launched in Australia.
While the Outlander PHEV is the first production vehicle to feature Mitsubishi’s sophisticated Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle system, it certainly won’t be the last, with Mitsubishi Motors confirming all-new versions of Pajero and ASX SUVs will feature variations of the fuel-optimising PHEV system.
In fact, Mitsubishi Motors expects plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles will account for around 20 per cent of Mitsubishi Motors production by 2020.
At Tokyo Motor Show last year, Mitsubishi Motors previewed concepts of two new generation SUVs featuring newly-developed plug-in hybrid drivetrains designed to maximise performance and significantly improve fuel efficiency.
Intended to preview the Mitsubishi’s next generation Pajero SUV, the GC-PHEV generates powerful performance from a full-time 4WD plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system. It pioneers a range of Mitsubishi technologies, including an innovative human interface with Connected Car technology that provides driver safety information and enables passengers to access online or stored data to create original maps and driving plans.
Central to the GC-PHEV’s performance is a powerful 3.0-litre supercharged MIVEC V6 engine which is paired with 70kW high output motor and 8-speed automatic transmission for a maximum power output of 250kW and 40-kilometre EV range. The system is targeted to achieve hybrid fuel consumption of approximately 6.6 l/100km.
The new generation ASX was also previewed in Mitsubishi’s compact XR-PHEV concept, which showcases a PHEV system designed for higher performance and maximum efficiency. The aerodynamic compact SUV has an impressive 85km EV range with power from a 1.1-litre inline 3-cylinder direct injection turbocharged MIVEC engine, which alone produces maximum power of 100kW. Additional power comes from XR-PHEV’s 120kW motor, while battery power adds 14kWh through a 2WD, transaxle transmission. Mitsubishi has targeted hybrid fuel consumption of less than 3.5l/100km.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia Executive Director of Marketing Tony Principe believes PHEV technology is the company’s next big breakthrough, and will play a significant role in Mitsubishi’s future model line-up overseas and in Australia.
“It’s the future direction for Mitsubishi and the technology has still greater potential,” he said.
“The beauty of Mitsubishi’s PHEV system is that it’s very flexible and can be adapted to suit a wide range of vehicle types, from small through to medium and large vehicles, depending on each vehicle’s individual function and performance requirements.
“With the new Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi has introduced advanced fuel saving technology in a family-sized SUV, enabling Australian drivers to enjoy the size, packaging and performance benefits of an SUV along with incredibly low fuel consumption.”
Mitsubishi Motors Australia EV Product Manager Ashley Sanders said Mitsubishi’s PHEV system is no overnight success, but the result of Mitsubishi’s enduring obsession with electric vehicle technology.
“Mitsubishi Motor’s experimentation with electric vehicle technology actually began in the 1970s with the Minica Van EV, which had a lead acid battery,” he said.
“Mitsubishi’s EV development continued for more than 40 years but it wasn’t until lithium ion battery technology reached its potential that Mitsubishi made its first mass produced electric vehicle, the i-MiEV, in 2009.”
“Even in the short time between i-Miev and Outlander PHEV, battery technology has continued to advance, enabling gains in performance, packaging and EV range.
“And today we’re launching Outlander PHEV – a family friendly, affordable SUV – which can to travel up to 52 kilometres* from a fully charged battery, and even further on combined petrol electric power.”
The Outlander PHEV goes on sale in Australia from 31 March, 2014.
*Range based on official ADR81/02 fuel economy drive cycle