2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid ready for U.S. duty
After more than a two-year delay, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finally made its U.S. debut in New York. Currently Europe’s best selling plug-in, the production 2017 Outlander PHEV is slated to appear in showrooms here this fall. While final specs on this midsize AWD hauler have not been revealed, we do know the new Outlander PHEV benefits from a number of U.S.-specific upgrades to the package that Don Swearingen, executive vice president, MMNA, promises will see it offer “the best of both worlds with a balance of electric efficiency and long-range practicality.”
One engine, two motors, three drive modes
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid relies on a full-time, gasoline/electric system that teams a “powerful” 2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVAC gasoline engine and two 60kW electric motors -- one at each axle -- that collectively provide performance similar to a conventional 3.0-liter V6. The two motor/generator units are energized by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor and the system fully integrates with a version of Mitsubishi’s S-AWC setup derived from the Super All-Wheel Control system used in the Lancer Evolution. Here, it’s been optimized to give the Outlander PHEV the best combination of performance, efficiency, tractability and safety.
The new Outlander PHEV has three operating modes. In addition to pure EV, it can function as a series hybrid with the engine used only to generate electric charge or a parallel hybrid with both the engine and motors providing driving force. The system automatically selects the most efficient choice for given road and traffic conditions. In addition to recharging on the fly via regenerative braking, the battery in this versatile Mitsu can be replenished in about five hours using a dedicated 240V home charger or roll up roughly an 80-percent fill in 30 minutes on a commercial DC fast charger.
Featuring the latest in Mitsubishi exterior styling language and a bounty of upscale interior appointments, the 2017 Outlander PHEV will either come with or offer numerous advanced comfort/convenience/safety touches including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as a Multi-Around view Camera Monitor, Forward Collision Mitigation with pedestrian detection capability and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Pricing will be released closer to the 2017 Outlander PHEV’s on-sale date. “As previously stated, Mitsubishi’s future is crossover utility vehicles and electrified vehicles,” Swearingen observed. “Today we are showing the first piece of that plan.”
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