Published on June 22, 2012
The Outlander PHEV uses a pair of electric motors and a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to drive all four wheels. Three driving modes allow all-electric operation, or can engage the gas engine to either generate electricity for the system or help power the wheels directly. (Photo: Mitsubishi)
The forthcoming Paris Motorshow is scheduled to commence on September 29th and will serve as the venue for several different new models and concept cars. Among the hordes of vehicles on display will be Mitsubishi's Outlander Plug-in Hybrid
Electric Vehicle (PHEV), a vehicle that will share its architecture with the next-generation Outlander crossover sport utility vehicle.
Mitsubishi's new Outlander PHEV bears a close resemblance in design and specification to the Concept PX-MiEV and Concept PX-MiEV II of 2009 and 2011 respectively. Like those two concept vehicles, the Outlander PHEV pairs a conventional front-mounted internal combustion gasoline engine with a pair of electric motors, one mounted at the front and another at the rear.
According to Mitsubishi, the Outlander PHEV will be the first permanent four-wheel-drive electric car in series production. To allow optimum use of its powertrain it will offer three driving modes: In Pure mode, the vehicle relies solely on its motive battery and its two electric motors in order to send power to all four wheels. Series mode also uses the electric motors to power the vehicle, but instead of relying solely on the motive battery it also runs the internal combustion engine to generate electric power to support the electric drivetrain. Lastly, in Parallel driving mode, the Outlander PHEV makes use of both electric motors and the gasoline engine to power the drive wheels, resulting in full use of the PHEV's hybrid electric powertrain.
Mitsubishi claims its Plug-in Hybrid system will allow for a long-haul driving range while producing low emissions. In this sense the system is similar to that of the Concept PX-MiEV II, which has a driving distance of more than 800 km with a CO2 emissions target below 50 g/km.
The new Outlander PHEV is scheduled to arrive in Europe in 2013, while the next-generation Outlander will arrive in Europe this autumn. Though the Canadian introduction of both the Outlander and Outlander PHEV hasn't been divulged, it's likely they will arrive to coincide with the European debuts or shortly afterward. More details about the Outlander PHEV are sure to be revealed upon its world debut this September at the Paris Motorshow.
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