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 |  Mar 07 2012, 5:21 AM


The next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, sporting an innovative new plug-in hybrid system with an electric all-wheel drive feature.

The unveiling of the new Outlander also symbolizes the beginning of an all-new generation of vehicles from Mitsubishi, where the Japanese automaker hopes to become a greener and more global brand. If you’re wondering why the new Outlander looks so different than other Mitsubishi creations in the past, wonder no more. You’re looking at the new design language from the Japanese automaker, which they say is “still being formulated.” (We hope so).

While the new Outlander is exciting and all, the more exciting news is the fact that it’ll be Mitsubishi’s first model to sport their EV-based plug-in hybrid (P-HEV) system. The Outlander with P-HEV is essentially an electric vehicle but is supplanted by a gasoline engine when needed – much like how Chevrolet is branding its Volt these days in their commercials.

What makes it different though is that it’ll be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production, and thanks to its unique drivetrain combination of a front electric motor with rear electric motor, plus front engine, drivers will have the choice of three driving modes to choose from. There will be a Pure mode, which utilizes a Twin Motor 4WD EV setup, while the Series mode is a Twin Motor 4WD EV supported by an internal combustion engine (ICE). Lastly is the Parallel mode, which is the Twin Motor 4WD EV supplemented by a FWD-powered ICE.

The P-HEV system will allow the Outlander to travel 31 miles in 4WD electric mode alone. But the versatility that the Outlander offers is what might attract buyers to Mitsubishi’s new system. Drivers will be able to control the use of battery power and when they want to focus more on battery charging.

Standard engine options for the new Outlander will be a 2.0L gasoline engine with 147-hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. A 2.2L DiD Clean Diesel is also available with 147-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque with a manual transmission, or 265 lb-ft of torque with an automatic.

No pricing was announced yet for the new Outlander, but we’ll be sure to catch more when the vehicle gets officially unveiled on the show floor.

GALLERY: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander