Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid revealed

  • PHEV is based on new-generation Outlander
  • Electric-only range is 34 miles
  • Petrol/electric plug-in will be available in 2013

Mitsubishi has unveiled the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV.

Based on the new-generation Outlander, it is targeting eco-friendly drivers who need all-wheel-drive capability. It is set to arrive in the UK by 2013 and uses a plug-in hybrid EV system developed by Mitsubishi itself

This new generation of the Outlander is much sleeker looking and, thanks to this new shape, more aerodynamic. This has reduced drag, resulting in better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions when using the combustion engine.

The plug-in hybrid EV powertrain automatically selects the optimum drive mode for comfortable driving while at the same time trying to return the best fuel economy. This is wholly dependent on driving conditions and remaining battery charge.

In EV Drive mode the Outlander PHEV uses an electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery. In this mode the Outlander PHEV has a maximum range of just over 34 miles. When the electric charge is depleted it will automatically switch to running on its combustion engine.

In Series Hybrid mode the engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required.

In Parallel Hybrid mode the engine provides most of the power, assisted by the electric motors as required. The system switches to this mode for higher-speed driving when the engine operates at peak efficiency.

The driver can also manually switch to Battery Charge mode in which the engine acts as a generator and charges the drive battery whether the vehicle is stationary or on the move. Battery Charge Mode gives the driver the flexibility to use the engine as a generator at any time they want; for example if the driver wants to use EV Drive Mode at a specific time they can make sure the drive battery has enough energy.

The Outlander PHEV uses a Twin Motor 4WD system comprising independent electric motors to drive the front and rear wheels The Twin Motor 4WD system is integrated with Mitsubishi’s proven S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system to deliver high levels of stability and all-terrain performance.