Mitsubishi reinvents the Outlander

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 8, 2012

Mitsubishi unveiled its all-new Outlander at the Geneva Motor Show. Later on, this new third-generation Outlander will be available with a plug-in hybrid model, which has a CO2 emissions level of less than 50g/km. Its hybrid system may be of use when considering replacements for the Shogun and the Lancer Evolution X.

A preview of this new Outlander was seen at the Tokyo motor show as the PX-MiEV II concept car. This production car sports has been subjected to very slight revisions compared to the concept. It appears to have been given a slightly softened front end with circular fog lights, a modified front grille and a different lower front bumper.

The interior offers a similar design to the existing car but Mitsubishi asserts that it gains from having better sound insulation and the best materials.

The seven-seat interior comes with many padded surfaces and a soft-touch finish, a new dashboard for “better driver concentration”, as well as a new multi-function steering wheel and a clearer instrument panel. It’s interesting since it requires a new steering column that makes adjustments based on reach and rake.

It also comes with ‘wide vision’ xenon headlamps, dual-zone air-con, a third row of seats that splits 50/50 (revised from the current model's jump seats), a flat cargo area, and a powered tailgate. Additional safety includes a ‘Forward Collision Mitigation System', active cruise control, and a lane departure warning system. Its power is derived from the revised versions of the current engines, both offered with front or four-wheel drive.

It is available with a 2.0-litre MIVEC petrol option that delivers 148bhp, with CO2 emissions dropping to below 150g/km, and is offered with a five-speed manual 'box or optional CVT. In addition, it offers a similarly powerful 2.2-litre MIVEC clean diesel engine.

It emits lower than 130g/km of CO2, and displays a new six-speed auto 'box the existing six-speed manual. For the first half of 2012, its all-wheel drive plug-in drivetrain will be launched too. It will be offered in Europe starting in 2013 after its late summer launch.

The system makes use of two electric motors. One owns each axle while there’s another cycle: the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It can travel as fast on 30 miles on just electric power. Its petrol engine also functions as a generator or supplement drive at the front wheels.

Its range is expected to be near 500 miles and Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko confirmed to Autocar that the drivetrain is both strong enough for use in models like the Shogun, as well as offering adequately quick response to be used in a car like the Evolution XI, whose development will follow the introduction of the next Lancer.

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