Mitsubishi Motors has announced that the production debut of the new Outlander PHEV at the 2012 Paris Motor Show (or "Mondial de L'Automobile 2012"), which starts Thursday, September 27th.

Along with this announcement was the release of some detailed specs on the SUV:

  • uses Mitsu's own Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain derived from 100% electric systems used on the i-MiEV
  • first 4WD sport utility
  • target combined fuel efficiency in excess of 61 km/liter (thats 143 MPGe if I am doing my conversions right)
  • 55 km all electric range (34 miles)
  • total range of over 880 km (550 miles)

Mitsubishi Outlander Cutaway (Click To Enlarge)

Mitsubishi Outlander Cutaway (Click To Enlarge)

It is worth noting that here again is a press release from a Japanese auto maker, which means the dreaded JC08 mode is in play.

The JC08 mode loosely translates to "all the numbers are lies." We expect a real world, or EPA rating of about 22 miles of electric range and 80 MPGe when it gets a more realistic window sticker put on it here in the US.

The Outlander PHEV has two electric motors, one producing 60kW/137Nm at the front axle and the other producing 60kW/195Nm at the rear axle. The standard gasoline engine/generator is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that puts out 70kW.

The PHEV has a 12kWh on board lithium-ion battery pack, also underlining Mitsu's stated 34 miles of electric range is more than a little ambitious. As a point of reference, the 2013 Chevy Volt has a 16.5 kWh pack to draw from and gets 38 miles of range.

The plug-in SUV has three modes of driving, EV Drive Mode, Series Hybrid Mode and Parallel Hybrid Mode. Fortunately, as with the "Hold" mode in the Chevrolet Volt, and the "HV Mode" in the upcoming Honda Accord Plug-In, the Outlander PHEV driver can also choose when to utilize the electric driving range of the vehicle. Naturally, Mitsu has their own name for this toggle switch, "Battery Charge Mode".

Diagram Of Outlander PHEV

Diagram Of Outlander PHEV

In Parallel Hybrid Mode, the gasoline engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required. The system switches to this mode for higher-speed driving when the gasoline engine operates at peak efficiency.

Mitsubishi as of yet offers no pricing on the the Outlander PHEV, saying the company has not yet decided on US pricing, but hinted that it would be similar to some other higher end products in the company's lineup that was equal to about $40,000-$45,000.

"MMC will introduce Outlander PHEV in the Japanese market in early 2013 then sequentially roll out the model in Europe, North America, and other markets around the world." 

Along with this announcement, Mitsubishi has also started a new "Unpretentious" Ad campaign this month featuring the Outlander Sport.   We found it quite amusing, so we are passing it along:

More specs can be found on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV here.

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