Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid set for Paris show

Permanent four-wheel-drive, 151mpg and 50g/km CO2

By John Silcox on June 19, 2012 10:47 AM

Mitsubishi will be unveiling a pre-production Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV at this year’s Paris Motor Show (29 Sept – 14 Oct), ahead of the SUV’s launch in 2013.

The new model spearheads a series of ‘alternatively powered’ models to be launched over the next 12 months and, as previously reported, it is expected that Mitsubishi will be dramatically increasing the number of electrified vehicles in its arsenal between now and 2020.

Mitsubishi says the new Outlander was designed from the start to take a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but will also be available without electric drive as a straight internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE). The PHEV version will be Mitsubishi’s first plug-in hybrid and the first electric vehicle in series production with permanent 4WD.

A combination of front electric motor, rear electric motor and a front-mounted petrol engine (Mitsubishi believes petrol to be more suited to global markets than diesel) is unique to this model, and can be combined in three driving modes.

‘Pure mode’ enables the front and rear electric motors powering all four wheels using electricity alone. ‘Series mode’ works in the same way as an extended-range electric vehicle, with the petrol engine working as a generator to keep the battery charged. Finally, ‘Parallel mode’ utilises the internal combustion engine as the main source of drive, with support from the electric motors.

The Outlander PHEV has a claimed range of more than 500 miles between stops, and emissions below 50g/km. According to Autocar, expected fuel consumption could be as high as 151mpg.

The Outlander PHEV takes its design from the PX-MiEV II concept car, displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2011

The ICE Outlander will be launched in continental Europe later this week but hits UK roads this autumn, while the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV will be available throughout Europe during the course of 2013.