Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Announced for Paris

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Announced for Paris

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi announced that it will bring a plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander to the upcoming Paris Motor Show this September.

When it bows, the new Outlander will be a departure from the traditional gas-exclusive version and will also a step away from a dedicated plug-in hybrid, according to the company. When we see it in person, the automaker will show it alongside the new gasoline version, with which it shares its architecture.

What sets the vehicle apart is its unusual drivetrain which relies on a two electric motors and a gasoline engine. As you might expect with a car like this, the drivetrain supports different modes for pure electricity and two mixed modes — one with more power from the gas engine and another with mainly electric power.

Managing a single platform for the gas and plug-in versions is a significant achievement for Mitsubishi because the two drivetrains require very different equipment to run. Plug-in hybrids rely on big batteries that require significant consideration during the car’s design. The same is true for gasoline-engined cars, but finding a marriage between the two would be difficult at best.

Managing that might have been a little easier if the car were lated to run with front-wheel drive, but this will also be the world’s first dedicated four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid. Despite the difficult engineering, this will likely be an interesting vehicle for utility vehicle consumers with dedicated power to the front and rear with an estimated range just under 500 miles.

As is often the case with fuel-efficient cars we see in European shows, information on a U.S. retail schedule is missing. The gas version will be available to Europeans this fall while the plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2013.

We’ll be in Paris bringing you live coverage of the show so make sure to check back in September for more on this and the other cars that will be debuting.