Making its world debut on the automaker's stand in Paris, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) will go on sale in Japan sometime in early 2013 before heading into other markets -- including the U.S. -- later in the year. Sharing the same design themes and basic platform architecture with its all-new conventional Outlander sibling that debuted last month at the Moscow Auto Show, the 4-wheel drive Outlander PHEV uses the latest iteration of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation's (MMC) Plug-in Hybrid EV System that matches a conventional gasoline engine with elements derived from pure electric powertrains already fitted to the i-MiEV and other MMC all-electric vehicles.
In this case, the internal combustion side of the equation consists of a 2.0-liter/4-cylinder motor/generator fitted with Mitsu's MIVEC variable valve timing system while EV motivation is provided by two electric motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear. Energized by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack, each makes 80.5 horsepower and is integrated into the automaker's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) setup to endow the Outlander PHEV with exceptional acceleration and outstanding handling characteristics.
Like its one-off predecessor, the Concept PX-MiEV II that was presented at the 2012 Tokyo Motor Show, the production Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has three distinct operational modes: Pure EV, Series Hybrid and Parallel Hybrid. When running on electric power alone, it can reportedly travel up to 34 miles on the Japanese JC08 test cycle (which would likely be closer to 25 miles using the current EPA test regimen). When the battery power falls below a certain predetermined level or when extra power is needed for accelerating or passing, the Outlander PHEV automatically switches over into Series Hybrid mode where the engine acts as a generator. For ultimate performance, Parallel Hybrid mode uses the gasoline engine for primary power when the Outlander PHEV is operating at higher speeds but can draw on assist from the electric motors for a bit of additional thrust when needed. According to Mitsubishi, the Outlander PHEV will have total cruising range in excess of 500 miles and a super-low CO2 emissions level of less than 50 g/mile.