Mitsubishi has unveiled more technical details for the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which will be revealed to the public at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The automaker said that the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is the first plug-in hybrid SUV in the world. Its powertrain is a development of systems that are already used on pure-electric Mitsubishi vehicles like the i-MiEV electric city car. The front and rear wheels drive the two separate electric motors, taking away the need for a propshaft. It also provides a more refined control and response compared to mechanical four-wheel drive systems. Just like what could be expected of electric motors, the maximum torque could be immediately generated, enabling the PHEV to haven an acceleration time comparable with the others in the Outlander range.
Its lithium-ion batteries have a total voltage of 300V. An 80% charge can be achieved in about 30 minutes in quick-charge mode. It takes 4.5 hours to fully charge the battery from 0%. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine comes with Mitsubishi’s established MIVEC electronically-controlled variable valve timing system. Mitsubishi is targeting a combined fuel efficiency of more than 172mpg, with 547 miles for the combined range and 42 miles in purely electric mode. The vehicle is capable of switching automatically between three driving modes -- EV Drive, Series Hybrid and Parallel Hybrid – depending on road conditions and the battery charge that’s available.
When in EV Drive mode, the car can be purely driven by the front and rear motors obtaining power from the drive battery. When battery charge falls below a certain level, or when more power is needed for overtaking, the car shifts to Series Hybrid mode, where the petrol engine functions as a generator to provide electricity to the electric motors. To make driving faster, the car changes to the Parallel Hybrid mode where the engine accomplishes majority of the work, with the electric motors contributing when necessary. The car could be manually switched to a mode wherein the engine would charge the battery, whether stationary or in motion.