Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV revealed

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV revealed
  • Automatically selects most efficient drive mode
  • Claimed average economy of 143mpg
Words By Pete Barden

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This is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV; a plug-in hybrid SUV that will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris motor show later this month.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will be a rival for vehicles such as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Prius+ when it goes on sale here in 2013.

It has a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines two electric motors (one on both the front and rear axles) with a 94bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine/generator and a lithium-ion battery pack.

Depending on driving conditions and how much battery charge is available, the Plug-in PHEV's powertrain automatically selects the optimum drive mode to maximise efficiency.

The three drive modes available are: EV Drive mode, which allows zero-emissions driving over distances of around 35 miles; Series Hybrid mode, where the petrol engine works as a generator to power the electric motors; and Parallel Hybrid mode, where the engine provides most of power, aided by the electric motors as required. This setting is used for higher-speed driving when the engine operates at peak efficiency.

The Outlander PHEV can travel around 35 mile on electric power alone

Mitsubishi claims the hybrid system gives the Outlander PHEV average economy of more than 143mpg. The combined petrol-electric hybrid range is claimed to be around 550 miles.

Charging the battery takes around four and a half hours through a domestic socket, while a fast-charge unit can do the job in just 30 minutes.

However, the driver can also switch to Battery Charge Mode in which the engine acts as a generator and charges the drive battery whether the vehicle is stationary or on the move.

Prices haven't yet been revealed, but we expect the Outlander PHEV to cost more than 30,000.

Two electric motors and a 2.0-litre petrol engine provide the power

Paris motor show 2012 >>

By Pete Barden

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The Mitsubishi Outlander wins no prizes for refinement or interior quality, but the hybrid’s potentially low running costs will appeal to company car buyers