Another day, another auto show preview. That’s the saying, isn’t it? Either way, today we get a nice double feature from Mitsubishi.
You may remember that last summer Mitsubishi made a firm promise to offer drivers hybrid or electric options on every single one of their vehicles by 2016. So, as the next step in their hybridization refresh Mitsubishi is bringing two new concepts to Geneva next March. One is the GR-HEV sport utility hybrid truck, the other is the CA-MiEV compact crossover.
In addition, the Japanese manufacturer is planning to show off their new Outlander plug-in hybrid – the first vehicle Mitsubishi refreshed with hybrid efficiency in mind.
As for the two new concepts, Mitsubishi was kind enough to release teaser images for both vehicles, although they aren’t exactly informative. Fortunately, we already have plenty of information to whet our appetite until we actually see the concepts at Geneva.
For example, you may assume that a hybrid pickup truck would lack the “punch” needed for realistic commercial use. Mitsubishi assumed that too. That’s why their GR-HEV pickup truck will feature a powerful clean-diesel engine paired with an electric motor, as well as four-wheel drive. It will also feature Mitsubishi’s carefully tested Super All Wheel Control technology to make sure that the truck is fit for the rigors of commercial use. All that, and it still emits under 150g/km of CO2. Compare that to the 90 – 100 g/km of CO2 emissions achieved by the past few model years of Toyota’s Prius. Quite impressive.
As for the CA-MiEV crossover, we don’t know quite as much. We do know that Mitsubishi is marketing the concept as a “suburban electric vehicle”, and its astonishing range of 300km, or 186 miles for our non-metric readers, certainly seems adequate for country-side driving. The concept crossover is specifically intended to be a demonstration of how far Mitsubishi’s EV technologies have come, and if the range is any indication, then you can color me impressed.
All in all, Mitsubishi may not bring the most highly anticipated cars to Geneva next March, but the ones they do showcase are certainly looking to be impressive. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see whether the aesthetic holds up to the technology, but either way this is definitive progress for the viability of EV technology. If Mitsubishi and other manufacturers continue to exponentially improve their hybrids and EVs in the ways demonstrated by these two concepts, then by 2016 we may very well be living out the electric-car-future we’ve been dreaming of for the past 10 years.
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