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.
New Mitsubishi PHEV – to be launched in Japan in early 2013 -- is very distinct in its own as the first plug-in hybrid SUV in the world. This is simply because it fuses the performance levels of three different vehicles. For instance, its environmental performance is at par with electric vehicles (EV). Its cruising range performance is also comparable to vehicles powered by a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE). Likewise, the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers the on- and off-road performance of a sports utility vehicle.
Along with the new Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi will be displaying a total 11 vehicles -- seven on press days -- at the Paris Motor Show. These vehicles include the new European version of Mirage compact car and the refreshed ASX compact crossover. Mitsubishi will also be displaying a show version of the i-MiEV Evolution all-electric racecar that participated in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Set to make its global debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is derived from the new Mitsubishi Outlander that was unveiled in Russia in July and that will be launched in Europe in September. The Outlander PHEV employs the carmaker’s Plug-in Hybrid EV System that is adopted from the all-electric systems employed on the carmaker’s full EVs like the i-MiEV.
As the first plug-in hybrid SUV in the world, the new Outlander PHEV offers the best combo of eco-friendliness and quietness typical of EVs as fused with the on- and off-road performance and practicality of four-wheel drive SUVs. It also boasts of having the cruising range of conventional vehicles.