Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi had limited success with the quirky i-MiEV, its low-cost electric car. With the Outlander, Mitsubishi is hoping to create some real buzz, and by making a plug-in hybrid model, the Japanese automaker might just succeed.
The model has already been released in Japan, but a glitch is preventing the Outlander from launching in the US until January 2014. According to the Japanese fuel economy cycle, the PHEV gets 44 mpg combined, which might be a bit higher than what we can expect in the US. Still, the Outlander achieves its improved mileage thanks to pairing its 2.0L four-cylinder engine with two 60 kW electric motors. Each electric motor provides power to the two wheels on either axle. Helping to keep those electric motors in action is a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which allows the Outlander to drive 30 miles without any help from the 2.0L gas engine. Charge times are expected to be about four hours, although a quick charge will get the Outlander PHEV to 80% in 30 minutes.