Mitsubishi To Remake Its Original 1917 Offering, As An Electric Car

MAY 10 2017 BY MARK KANE 17

Mitsubishi Motors will celebrate its centennial anniversary with very special project of re-creating its very first automobile – the 1917 Model A, as a plug-in.

Mitsubishi Outlander Cutaway (Click To Enlarge)

Together with West Coast Customs, Mitsubishi will not only build the Model A with the same looks of the original, but equip it with a plug-in hybrid powertrain – from the Outlander PHEV.

This way the Outlander PHEV will finally appear in the U.S. right?  (sarcasm intended)

The 1917 Model A was the Mitsubishi’s first-ever passenger vehicle built (all 22 of them) back 100 years ago.

“In 1917, the Mitsubishi Model A was the first car ever to be adorned with the three-diamond emblem when launched in Japan marking the beginning of a global automotive company that has now spanned a century of technological innovation. With the Model A, Mitsubishi’s automotive history began with a 22-car production run of Japan’s very first series of mass-produced vehicles.”

“The vehicle is being built at the West Coast Customs facility in Burbank, CA and will be completed this summer. The build will be featured on an episode of Inside West Coast Customs, which airs on the Velocity network, Tuesdays, 9 PM PDT/EDT.”

Francine Harsini, senior director, marketing at MMNA said:

“We’re proud to be a 100-year-old brand with a rich heritage in the automotive landscape. The Mitsubishi Model A is the vehicle that paved the way for many other unique and exciting models over the years and we’re excited to re-design it with West Coast Customs. The Mitsubishi Model A will feature all the distinctive aspects of the 1917 vehicle, but will be built on the PHEV platform and offer the latest in automotive technology.”

West Coast Customs CEO and Founder, Ryan Friedlinghaus had this to say about the ground-breaking customization endeavor:

“We are incredibly honored to have been chosen to take on this iconic build for Mitsubishi that celebrates the centennial anniversary of the company’s first mass produced vehicle. It is an incredibly exciting opportunity to be able to integrate the history of the original Mitsubishi Model A with the technology of current-day Mitsubishi vehicles to recreate the Mitsubishi Model A. Team members in every department of West Coast Customs are super excited to be involved with this build – truly a piece of automotive history.”

Categories: Mitsubishi


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17 Comments on "Mitsubishi To Remake Its Original 1917 Offering, As An Electric Car"

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GM should remake EV1 replica using SparkEV drive train.

Why, the SparkEV was basically a 2-seater 😀

Why not Bolt drive train?

SparkEV range is more like EV1, making the replica more authentic. In fact, they could pretty much keep Spark chassis (4 seater) and just put some sheet metal around it to make it look like one of their planned 4 seater EV1.

“Together with West Coast Customs, Mitsubishi will not only build the Model A with the same looks of the original, but equip it with a plug-in hybrid powertrain – from the Outlander PHEV.”

They ought to use the existing i-MiEV powertrain instead. That would be pretty close to the original; it doesn’t even have an active cooling system! (Yes, just like the Leaf.)


I don’t get your point. How a BEV would be closer to ICE car than a PHEV?

And unlike Leaf, i-MiEV does have active battery cooling.

Oh, I mis-read the article. I thought it was saying the Model A was one of those early BEVs.

(Miss Emily Litella voice:) Nevermind!

Also, I see the i-MiEV has forced air cooling. Not quite as bad as the Leaf, then.

Well, my post above certainly isn’t one of my more factually accurate ones. 😉

Are they only making one car or can you order one of these?

Let me know if they will be available to the public

They should make 22 of them, and have at least 80 miles of range, with fast charging. I can see car collectors picking these up.

So… let me get this… Mitsubishi can use ”Model A” but Tesla can’t use ”Model E”?
Wont Ford take a fit?

I see, seems Isuzu is the Japan’s 1st automaker followed by Mitsu, Mazda, Nissan and then Toyota.

So letter belongs to Mitsu, E & T to Ford, S and X to Tesla.

Come on guys, stop using just a single letter and go with something more interesting like CU for Crossover, PU for Pickup and so on.

Ford has (or used to have) trademarks on over a dozen different letters – in their early years, they produced different models of vehicles with various letter model names, not just the Model A and Model T. And, of course, they have their E-series vans and F-series trucks going back about a century, also.

I’m not sure how this is going to play out, or if Ford even cares about a one-off commemorative vehicle.

I don’t know all that EV torque through wooden spokes ?
Things could go from beautiful nostalgic to ugly mess real quick !

Hmm, ICE conversion…definitely just a compliance car;)

While they are at it, are they going to make an electric Mitsubishi Zero too?

Do you really want to go there?