Earlier this month, we were disappointed when Mitsubishi hyped up “the return of a legend” ahead of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, only to bring us an outdated and unrealistic GC-PHEV Concept… A car which they’d already shown in the exact same form a full year-and-a-half prior, albeit not in the US.
Fortunately, it looks like they’ve learned their lesson. Mitsubishi is promising to showcase an all-new concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show next month, and we’re actually excited. It’s called the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II Concept, and you can see it for yourself below.
The Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II is a follow-up to the original XR-PHEV Concept shown all the way back at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. However, while the crossover coming to Geneva is officially being billed as a concept, the car in these teasers looks much closer to production than any crossover concept we’ve seen from Mitsubishi in recent memory.
So, if the XR-PHEV II is, in fact, close to production, what model will it be?
All current rumors are pointing to the new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport PHEV, expected to hit the market as a 2016 model, either later this year or at the beginning of next. This would be a fitting two-yearish follow-up to the standard Outlander PHEV that went on sale in the UK last April.
Mitsubishi says that the “concept XR-PHEV II is an urban crossover employing a lightweight, compact and high-efficiency front-engine/from-wheel drive pH EV system to achieve superior environmental and road performance.” They go on to say that the PHEV system is estimated to yield CO2 emissions below 40 g/km without sacrificing an engaging, sporty ride.
From what we know right now, that “high-efficiency” PHEV system Mitsubishi references in the press release is an all-new plug-in hybrid powertrain. Mitsubishi tells us that it will use a 12 kWh battery to power an astonishingly powerful 160 hp electric motor. They didn’t say anything about the horsepower of the actual engine, probably because “the PHEV system is designed to operate primarily in all-electric mode with the engine … supplying additional motive power when needed.”
That being said, the original XR-PHEV Concept used a 1.1L turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 bhp, which probably isn’t too far off from the new concept given Mitsubishi’s explanation of the powertrain’s duties.
In addition to the new PHEV system and exterior design we’ll see when the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II Concept hits the floor in Geneva, we’re also keeping an eye out for the interior. Mitsubishi says that the interior expresses fortitude with a minimalist, high-contrast design. It’s intended to functionally enhance the drivers focus on the road with convenient, intuitive controls.
We have to say, this is the most excited we’ve been to see a Mitsubishi concept so far in 2015. Stay tuned next month to see the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show!