Offering a look at the development and manufacturing path it intends to take "in the near future," Mitsubishi has released some preliminary images and information on a trio of new hybrid one-offs that reportedly point to the design direction we'll see on upcoming production models. All three will get their formal world reveals later this month in Tokyo and embrace what the automaker is calling "@earth TECHNOLOGY" -- MMC-speak for a suite of next-gen features that "embrace the principles of environmental responsibility, driving pleasure and toughness and safety."
In addition to previewing upcoming styling themes, each vehicle also is fitted with a variety of advanced driver assists, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Management and Lane Departure Warning systems while using sophisticated on-board connectivity to implement a danger detection system that can automatically activate various safety systems as well as early detection circuitry that can warn of failures or malfunctions and prompt the driver to take the vehicle in for repair or to have other necessary maintenance performed.
Largest of this forward-thinking trio, the Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV is a full-size 4-wheel-drive plug-in SUV that pairs a supercharged 3.0-liter MIVAC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electric Control system) V6 gasoline engine with a powerful electric motor fed by a high-capacity battery pack. Motive force for the "Concept Grand Cruiser" gets shipped to each corner via an 8-speed automatic transmission and with the automaker's sophisticated S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) system doling out power. In addition to class-leading environmental performance, Mitsu promises the production version also will have serious all-terrain capabilities.
Thought to foreshadow the next-gen Outlander Sport, the Concept XR-PHEV - aka the Concept Crossover Runner - is a compact crossover-style SUV with a coupe-like character and youthful attitude. This slick front-driver matches its 1.1-liter turbocharged/direct-injected MIVAC 4-cylinder engine with a light, compact high-efficiency electric motor and a high-capacity battery pack.
Setting the scene for a future compact front-drive multipurpose vehicle, the Mitsubishi Concept AR - for Active Runabout -- is a mild "micro-hybrid" that uses the same 1.1-liter T-charged engine as the XR-PHEV but teams it with a small lithium-ion battery pack that gets recharged on the fly and handles the econo-enhancing start/stop circuitry. While offering no further specific details, Mitsubishi also noted that the Concept Active Runabout will bolster its appeal by offering an impressive combination of sporty performance and good space utilization inside of its spacious, highly configurable passenger compartment.
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