Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV hints at future SUV
Making its North American debut, the Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV is being billed as "The Return of a Legend." Originally presented at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the Concept GC-PHEV represents "a next-generation full-size SUV" that may succeed the Montero last sold here in 2006. Although much of the future-tech found in its lavishly appointed 4-place cabin isn't likely to be hitting the street any time soon, there's a good deal more reality present in the green-leaning hybrid powertrain of the Mitsubishi Grand Cruiser Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle (GC-PHEV).
Motivation for the Concept GC-PHEV comes from a 3.0-liter/335-horsepower supercharged MIVEC V6 gasoline engine that works in concert with a 94-horse electric motor positioned ahead of an 8-speed automatic transmission. The motor is energized by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted under the rear cargo area while the centrally mounted gas tank sits below the rear seats. Target fuel economy for this concept SUV is 35 mpg while its projected EV cruising range is at least 25 miles on a single charge. To ensure the Concept GC-PHEV has a proper degree of go-anywhere capability regardless of road surfaces, the vehicle also is fitted with Mitsubishi's excellent S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) full-time AWD system.
Driver assists galore
As might be expected, the Concept GC-PHEV's feature set includes a comprehensive array of safety/connectivity features. Beyond a full suite of conventional items, there's a sophisticated danger-detection system that can warn of and/or automatically respond to various potential traffic threats. Also, an early-detection system advises the driver of a potential failure or malfunction while there's still time to seek pro-active repairs or maintenance. Complementing the Concept GC-PHEV's fully configurable digital dash is a prominent touchscreen display accessible by both front and rear passengers that offers a new level of navigation proficiency as well as in-vehicle infotainment.
"We brought the Concept GC-PHEV to Chicago because it’s a showcase into our future technology and design themes," noted Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President, Don Swearingen. We won’t have to wait very long to see what that really means. “All of our 2016 model year vehicles will be refreshed with our new brand identity, starting with the 2016 Outlander, which will make its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April.”
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