Mitsubishi has been on hard times for quite a spell. To put it politely, their North American lineup is pretty feeble. But a big electrification push could improve the company’s fortunes.
The Japanese automaker is working to amp up its future product range. Showcasing this initiative, they’ve brought their Outlander PHEV to the New York International Auto Show where it’s making its American debut.
Now, as you might expect, those letters stand for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Accordingly, it features a fuel-sipping powertrain that’s comprised of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, one mounted at the front axle, the other at the rear.
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These dynamos give the Outlander four-wheel-drive capability. Each motor is juiced by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. According to European specs, maximum system output should be around 120 horsepower with an estimated electric-only driving range of approximately 32 miles. No fuel economy information has been released yet.
Like other hybrids, this vehicle can operate in several modes. Of course, it can run as a pure EV for short distances, but it can also function as either a series or parallel hybrid. The former runs on electric power and uses the engine as a generator, the latter blends output from both the motor and engine. To maximize efficiency, the Outlander PHEV automatically selects the most efficient mode.
Aside from its advanced powertrain, this SUV has plenty of other high-tech features including an around-view camera, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring as well as support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, pretty standard stuff these days but items that are always appreciated.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is set to arrive at U.S. dealers this fall, though it is already the top selling plug-in hybrid in Europe. At this time official American pricing, horsepower ratings, electric-only driving range and fuel economy numbers are not available, so stay tuned.
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