Mitsubishi Motor Corp.'s XR-PHEV plug-in hybrid concept previews the next-generation Outlander Sport compact crossover, according to President Osamu Masuko at the Tokyo Motor Show. He said that the front-wheel-drive hybrid is a vision of Mitsubishi's future focus on utility vehicles.
The US-built Outlander Sport is the Japanese carmaker’s best-selling offering in the United States, with the redesigned version expected to be available within three years, Masuko told Automotive News. The four-seat XR-PHEV concept is envisioned as being able to deliver an electric-only range of 52 miles.
It is powered by a 1.1-liter, three-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine and a 120-kW electric motor. The targeted fuel economy is 66 mpg under Japan's testing cycle.
The rollout of the next-generation Outlander Sport in the US is part of Mitsubishi's mid-term business plan to boost its sales in North America by 36 percent to 150,000 units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.
According to Masuko, the next-generation Outlander Sport will be offered as a plug-in hybrid having a traditional gasoline drivetrain. He, however, didn't disclose whether both the conventional and the hybrid versions would be available in the US.
Masuko remarked that while the next-generation Outlander may be built at Mitsubishi's Normal site in Illinois, the decision has yet to be made. The site is producing the current Outlander Sport. He said that if the next Outland is built in Illinois, production would be limited only to gasoline versions.