Mitsubishi to Launch Outlander Plug-in Hybrid
Set for 2013, it will be the first production EV with full-time 4-wheel-drive.
The Outlander PHEV, first shown as a concept at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, will go on sale in Japan in early 2013, followed by Europe and possibly the U.S. that same year. (The U.S. launch may be delayed, however, the company said.) The regular gas-powered 2014 Outlander will bow in mid-2013. The Paris Motor Show will start Sept. 27.
We don't know any details on price, range, charging times or other specifications. All Mitsubishi would talk about are the three driving modes, which the driver may select (as in the Volvo V60 plug-in) or the computer may choose. There are two electric motors -- one in front and another in back -- and a gasoline engine that acts both as a generator and primary source of power. In "pure" mode, the Outlander PHEV runs solely on electricity. In "series" mode, the car uses some power from the gasoline engine to run the electric motors, as in the Volt. In "parallel" mode, the gas engine does most of the work with the electric motors running secondary, as in the Prius.
Mitsubishi's all-electric car, the Mitsubishi i, went on sale in November; 380 have been sold through May. However, this month marks the car's nationwide rollout after having been limited to certain Western and Northeastern states. Despite slow sales, Mitsubishi is touting the i as the most affordable production electric car in the U.S. -- and the most fuel-efficient car ever rated by the Environmental Protection Agency. At $29,975, the former part is is still true. The latter claim was bested by Honda earlier this month with the Fit EV.
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