If for no other reason than the company makes some really good TVs and industrial generators, we’d probably have forgotten about Mitsubishi by now. With a bevy of new products launched overseas, we’ve unfortunately been relegated to just one vehicle–the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution–that really gets our gears going. Even the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has been relegated to something of a dud for us.
We’re still pulling for the automaker to have its comeback, though. And, alas, if it makes to the mid to late 2013, we’ll finally get our wish. Enter: The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. That’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to you and me.
Powered by two 80-horsepower electric motors–one powering the front wheels and another for the back–the Outlander PHEV is expected to go approximately 30 miles completely on electric power, have a cruising range of about 550 miles, and get about 143 mpg on Japan’s very optimistic JC08 cycle. Expect all those numbers to go down significantly when tested by the Environmental Protection Agency, but even cutting a third off would still make them impressive.
On board will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine that will be able to produce 94 horsepower and run the electric motors when the electric charge is depleted. Because of the massive pulling force created by electric motors, Mitsubishi says acceleration will be on par with large-engine conventional cars, and it’ll be decent off-road.
Like all other versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander, the PHEV version will be able to seat five passengers. Its combined battery capacity will be 12 kilowatt-hours, or half as much as that in the all-electric Nissan Leaf.
While debuting at the end of this month at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV will go on sale in Japan in early 2013. Following in sequence, the automaker will then roll it out into Europe and then the U.S.
With an utter dearth of new products that–unless you count the ones at your local Best Buy–fail to inspire a whole lot of excitement, we see the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as a good thing. It can’t get here soon enough.