One of the few remaining Japanese automakers without a hybrid vehicle in its lineup, Mitsubishi brought its new Concept PX-MiEV to the LA Auto Show to let Californians know that it too has the capability and is considering its options. First unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show the PX-MiEV name combines the automakers “MiEV” nomenclature, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, with a new “PX” designation, which stands for Plug-in Hybrid Crossover.
As a full plug-in hybrid, the Concept PX-MiEV can operate using either the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine, the electric motor, or both. On pure electric power it can travel up to 30 miles. Mitsubishi rates that crossover at an impressive 117.6 mpg!
In EV mode the vehicle uses just electric power for the short 30 mile distance. When the batteries are depleted, the gasoline engine then kicks in to recharge the batteries and power the electric motor (much like on the Chevy Volt). At higher speeds, the gasoline engine takes over completely. In addition, the PX-MiEV features the company’s S-AWC and E-AYC all-wheel drive systems, along with a new center differential electric motor that works to send power to the rear wheels. All these technologies are part of what Mitsubishi calls E-4WD, which uses electric rather than mechanical systems to optimize grip.
Other highlights include an air-ride suspension with three height settings and an innovative driver alert system that uses a camera to monitor the driver’s eyes to see if he or she isn’t paying attention to the road.
The concept seems to suggest that Mitsu is considering introducing a hybrid crossover in the near future, but recent reports have pointed towards a hybridized version of the next generation Lancer Evolution.