Posts Tagged ‘Outlander PHEV’

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo to Return as a Hot Hybrid Crossover

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring

Most of us already know that the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is on the way out the door. Mitsubishi has already released a final limited edition of the vehicle to commemorate its exit from their lineup. However, as expected, they do in fact have plans to bring the Evo back to their lineup in the future. What we didn’t expect is the type of car they’re going to do it with.

According to a recent interview with Autocar, Mitsubishi boss Testsuro Aikawa says that the revived Evo would most likely be a performance-oriented hybrid crossover.

Pretty big jump, right?

Aikawa’s justification is simple. He envisions the Evo tagline coming to mean something entirely new for the automaker. He explained it like this: “In Japanese, when you pronounce ‘Oh’ [in Evo], it means ‘king’. So we would like to launch this type of [performance] car, featuring EV and PHEV technology, which is the ultimate of its kind. ‘EV’ for electric vehicle, ‘O’ for king – Evo.”

See how that works? It’s a clever bit of wordplay, and a good way to market the next Evo as the king of electric vehicles.

But what car would receive the Evo treatment?

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II Concept

When you consider that Mitsubishi’s been building up the release of their next-gen Outlander Sport / ASX PHEV for almost a year now with their XR-PHEV II Concept, it seems reasonable to expect that this would be the next Evo vehicle. In other words, instead of the Lancer Evo, it will be the ASX Evo (or the Outlander Sport Evo, depending on your market).

Keep in mind, the next Evo will definitely not come anytime soon. It won’t be in 2016, and there’s actually no guarantee that it’ll come before 2020. Aikawa was very careful to not give a hard and fast ETA. Instead he simply said, “to develop these kind of vehicles, we have to sell a lot of the base models so we can cover the research and development costs.” In other words, they’re not going to force the next Evo into their lineup; they want it to be a natural evolution of a well-established model.

That being said, Autocar claims that Aikawa isn’t the only Mitsubishi rep. envisioning the ASX as the next Evo. Kaneroi Okamato – the guy who’s in charge of product development – is also on record saying the Evo will eventually be “replaced in spirit by an SUV with high performance.”

Together, they make a pretty compelling case, right? Regardless of how you feel about the EV king wordplay, it’s good to hear that Mitsubishi (A) has a plan for future performance models and (B) that they’re being prudent enough to make sure it pays off.


2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Teased for New York Reveal

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Save the Date for NYIAS Press Conference

With the Geneva Motor Show officially behind us, we’re finally starting to get previews for the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show. Doors open in almost exactly 2 weeks, and the first Japanese car we have to look forward to (at least officially) is a new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.

The Mitsubishi Outlander has struggled to stay competitive in the US in recent years. Not because it’s a bad car, but because all things being equal, most drivers will choose a model they’re more familiar with like the Toyota Highlander.

Under a bigger brand, today’s budget-friendly Outlander would do just fine. After all, everyone agrees it’s a reliable model and it has excellent fuel economy for its class… Plus, pricing is right on point with a starting price of just $23,195 for a full-sized 7-seat SUV.

Still, this teaser tells us that Mitsubishi is planning something different for 2016. This fits right in line with our expectations, since we already knew Mitsubishi would be showcasing some sort of new Outlander in New York. With this teaser, we have three options for what exactly that car will be.

Option 1. Plain 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander

Most other automotive blogs on the web are convinced that Mitsubishi is bringing a standard facelifted Outlander SUV to the 2015 NY Auto Show. Even though Mitsubishi did a similar refresh in 2013 for the 2014MY just a couple years ago (pictured above), many people believe they’re giving it another shot for 2016.

This option makes sense… Even after the update, the Outlander feels a little dated, especially inside the cabin. But, there are other options.

Option 2. Facelifted 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2015 Outlander Sport SE

Another option would be for Mitsubishi to skip the normal Outlander entirely and showcase a facelifted version of their slightly more popular Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, aka. the Mitsubishi ASX or Mitsubishi RVR.

This option would make slightly more sense because the car hasn’t seen any major updates since the third-generation debuted in 2010. Plus, a mid-cycle facelift would be a great time to finally homogenize the Outlander Sport lineup, since the car has substantially varied specs and names across the different markets.

The only problem here is that the grille we see in the teaser image looks nothing like the grille from the current Outlander Sport. The horizontal bars tell us we’re looking at a standard Outlander, which leaves us with Option 3…

Option 3. US-Spec Outlander PHEV

2014 Mitsubishi PHEV Concept S

We’ve been patiently waiting for a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander for several years now. It was originally supposed to launch in 2012. Then it was definitely going to hit the US by 2014. The latest estimate is April 2016, and this one could finally be on the money.

If Mitsubishi really is ready to bring their Outlander PHEV to the US, then a New York debut makes perfect sense. And, it’s possible that they could still do Option 1 here, since execs have said that they’d facelift the normal Outlander before sending dealers the PHEV model. It’s expected to look a lot like the 2014 Paris Motor Show’s Mitsubishi PHEV Concept S, which is pictured above.

Notice those horizontal bars on the grille… Could this be the car we’re seeing in New York? Stay tuned to find out!


Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept Makes US Debut in Chicago

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

2015 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept 2

Remember a couple weeks ago when Mitsubishi gave us that neat little teaser for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show with the tagline, “The Return of a Legend”?

At the time, we and the rest of the Internet speculated that this meant some sort of preview for a revived Mitsubishi Montero. Turns out, the “Legend” that they were referring to is the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept, that overly futuristic SUV concept you’ve probably forgotten about by now, since it was first shown all the way back from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

2015 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept rear

But surely they made some cool new changes to the GC-PHEV Concept, right? After all, it has been a full year and a half since the crossover’s debut.

Unfortunately, no. The car Mitsubishi chose to show off in Chicago – the “Return of a Legend” they were referring to – was literally the exact same model they brought to Tokyo in 2013. No changes. No technology updates. No nothing new. Talk about unsubstantiated hype; we’re actually kind of miffed.

2015 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept profile

In case you don’t remember, the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept runs on a supercharged 3.0L V6 that outputs 335 hp on its own, paired up with a 94 hp electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The futuristic crossover can reportedly run a full 25 miles on electric-only power thanks to a hyper efficient 12-kWh lithium-ion battery.

Talking about the design or the interior is a fruitless endeavor, since Mitsubishi has added so much unrealistic fluff that identifying key themes is nearly impossible.

2015 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. Why would Mitsubishi want to remind us about their GC-PHEV Concept?

For three reasons:

  1. To build hype for their upcoming Outlander PHEV, which is expected to finally make it into the US as a 2016 model year.
  2. To showcase key design themes Mitsubishi plans to integrate into the refreshed Outlander and Outlander Sport, which are also expected to hit showroom floors later this year.
  3. The GC-PHEV Concept really does in fact herald a return of the Mitsubishi Montero – that part still stands true.

Plus, among the more realistic technologies shown inside the GC-PHEV are a bevy of new safety features that we expect will soon come standard in most of the Japanese automaker’s lineup. These include blind-spot warning, anti-collision braking, and ACC (adaptive cruise control), as well as new additions to the field with a senior-friendly “unintentional vehicle move-off” monitor, which basically prevents accidental acceleration or braking.

Want to learn more about the Mitsubishi GV-PHEV Concept? You can read Mitsubishi’s official press release for the Chicago Auto Show here.


Mitsubishi Teases Sporty New Hybrid SUV for Geneva

Posted by Stephen On Friday, January 30th, 2015

Mitsubishi is on an SUV spree so far this year. We already know to expect the “return of a legend” at next month’s Chicago Auto Show – a car expected to herald a return of the Montero to the US. Now, the Japanese automaker has given us this preview of a new hybrid SUV model coming to Geneva:

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV geneva preview

Look familiar? It should – the teaser image of the grille is highly reminiscent of the XR-PHEV Concept we first saw over a year ago at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Fittingly, we’re expecting to see a production-ready evolution of the year-old Mitsubishi XR-PHEV SUV (pictured below) in Geneva, or at the very least a prototype.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Concept

You may remember that we’d already re-looked at the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV concept when we covered the return of the Montero last week. However, we didn’t really discuss what our original thoughts were when the concept first hit the showroom back in 2013. At the time, we projected that the XR-PHEV previewed a new Mitsubishi Outlander.

Today, we got a second teaser for the hybrid SUV that will take a bow in Geneva.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV sport hybrid preview 2

With this second teaser, we now have both front and profile views of the car, with a few noteworthy visual features that Mitsubishi clearly wants us to notice.

First, the blue LED headlights probably won’t be blue in real-life, but the slanted design definitely will, along with the horizontal grille with X-shaped chrome accents. We also notice the swooping silhouette of the new crossover, complete with the X-shaped taillights that outline the rear of the vehicle. You can also make out massive lips around the wheel wells, and a striking body line extending from the back of the front wheel to the tip of the taillights.

Interestingly enough, there’s a slight chance that this isn’t the new Outlander or Outlander Sport -or- Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. Some sources believe that instead, Mitsubishi will be introducing us to the successor to the outgoing Lancer Evolution in Geneva. While it’s unlikely it would hold the Lancer Evo name, apparently Mitsubishi at one point claimed that IF they replaced the Lancer Evo’s slot in their lineup, it would definitely be with a sports SUV, although we’d heard it would come from a partnership with Renault-Nissan.

So, with that we have a mystery, folks. In the end, our bet’s on a new Outlander Sport hybrid which we’ve been told to expect sometime this year.  Either way, you’ll be able to prove us wrong when the 2015 Geneva Motor Show opens in March!

 


2014 Paris Motor Show Round-Up – Japanese Cars You Missed

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 10th, 2014

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is finally coming to a close, and unfortunately we didn’t have time to give you in-depth coverage for every single new Japanese car that hit the stage in France. So, today we’re going to do a round-up of all the Japanese cars you might’ve missed from this week’s automotive event.

For your information, we already covered the Toyota C-HR, Nissan Pulsar NISMO, Suzuki Vitara and Infiniti Q80 Inspiration, so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already. Otherwise, read on.

Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type-R ConceptPhotograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

We’d already seen a very similar Honda Civic Type-R Concept earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. However, Honda took the liberty of divulging a few new specs for us in Paris. Some of these will sound familiar if you read our preview article, so we’ll be brief:

  • Powered by a newly developed high-revving 2.0L VTEC Turbo engine
  • Red-lines at 7,000 rpm and outputs 276hp
  • Sport-tuned six-speed manual transmission
  • Four-point Adaptive Damper System which varies stiffness with driving conditions
  • New +R button which maximizes performance from the engine and steering during intensive driving

Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front

Again, we already knew what the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata would look like, but we didn’t know what was hiding beneath its vibrant red hood.

Now we know that the 2015 MX-5 will get at least two engine options. Both will be gas-powered and will come from Mazda’s SKYACTIV suite. The first one is a 1.5L with 130bhp and the second is a larger 2.0L with 165bhp. Mazda is still working out the quirks in a possible diesel variant, but nothing’s been confirmed at the time of this writing. We’re guessing they’re still figuring out the diesel for their Mazda6.

If you’d like a more in-depth overview, the folks over at AutoExpress put together a splendid video of the new MX-5 taken live at the Paris Motor Show. You can check that out below:

Mitsubishi PHEV Concept S

2014 Mitsubishi PHEV Concept S

You might’ve seen this car last month ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut, and not much has changed since then. It’s a clean and stylish SUV whose simplicity betrays the complex technology beneath its hood. Up front, you’ll see the refreshed front-end complete with a chrome-lined X grille and similar chrome accents along the side and rear.

Mitsubishi did give us a few more technical details about the S Concept with its debut. It will be able to travel nearly 550 miles on a single tank and up to 34 miles on electric-only mode. This incredible fuel economy is achieved with a 2.0L petrol engine paired up with two advanced electric motors and a high-density lithium-ion battery.

Outlander PHEV Concept S black and burgundy interior

Surprisingly, our favorite part about the PHEV Concept S is its interior. Mitsubishi really outdid themselves with a classy black-and-burgundy color scheme made up of premium materials and plenty of amenities.

Infiniti QX70 S Design Package

Infiniti QX70 S Design exterior

Even though the Infiniti’s Q80 Insipiration Concept definitely stole the spotlight, the premium Japanese automaker brought another cool new car to the Paris Motor Show. It’s a brand-new design package for the Infiniti QX70 SUV.

The design package features a silver exterior with dark chrome accents in the grille, side sills and rear bumper. To match the dark chrome, the headlights have a new smoked finish and the 21-inch alloys showcase a crisp black paint job to go with the black roof rails and mirrors.

Infiniti QX70 S Design Package

Inside, the “dark side” theme continues with a black lacquer finish for the center console, and purple-stitched black leather upholstery throughout the cabin. For more images, check out Carscoops’s live photos of the QX70 S Design.

All in all, we’d say the 2014 Paris Motor Show was a great showing for Japanese automakers. Definitely a great way to kick off the end-of-year motor show season!