Mitsubishi is expecting sales of a plug-in hybrid version of the next ASX compact SUV to surpass the success of the gasoline and diesel variants in Europe, President Osamu Masuko told Automotive News Europe at the Tokyo Auto Show. Mitsubishi is selling the ASX as the RVR in Japan and Outlander Sport in North America.
Mitsubishi is expected to introduce the ASX successor with a plug-in hybrid variant within three years. At the show, Mitsubishi unveiled the XR-PHEV concept that previews the next ASX.
Masuko remarked that the mainstream variant in mature markets such as Japan and Europe will be the plug-in hybrid version. The vehicle will be the carmaker's second plug-in hybrid after the Outlander, which is already being sold in some markets in Europe.
While Mitsubishi did not provide details about the next ASX’s plug-in powertrain, the XR-PHEV Concept features a plug-in hybrid system based on the Outlander -- a 1.1-liter gasoline engine and electric motor that delivers 136 hp. The concept can cruise for 85km in electric mode. Carmakers are launching plug-in hybrids to comply with stiffer carbon dioxide emissions rules and meet demand for greener cars.
Plug-in hybrids are typically powered by a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor, allowing it to have a longer electric driving range than hybrids.
According to Masuko, the XR-PHEV concept has an enticing design that Mitsubishi will try to keep on the production model. Bearing a sporty and athletic line, the XR-PHEV concept is 70mm longer than the ASX at 4370mm. He added that the GC-PHEV concept unveiled at the Tokyo show previews the successor of the Pajero. [source: automotive news - sub. required]