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2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: LA Auto Show Preview

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2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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Mitsubishi is to unveil the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander for the first time in North America, at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

While the company claims the regular car will be one of the most efficient vehicles in its class, the real gas-sipper will be the plug-in hybrid version, due in early 2014.

The Outlander PHEV will use front- and rear-mounted 60 kW electric motors to supplement its 2.0-liter gasoline engine, as part of its Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system.

It will also allow drivers to select from various driving modes, including full EV mode on the 12 kWh battery pack, parallel hybrid mode, and series hybrid mode.

All-electric range is claimed to be up to 35 miles (albeit on the incredibly optimistic Japanese testing cycles--real range is likely to be nearer 20-25 miles) and says the car will be able to reach speeds of up to 75 mph in EV mode.

In series hybrid mode, the gasoline engine can run independently of the driven wheels, powering a 70 kW on-board generator as it goes along--which in turn provides power for the twin motors. When more power is required, the car can switch to parallel hybrid mode, where the twin electric motors provide assistance for the internal combustion engine.

A charge from a 240V station takes four hours, and an 80 pecent rapid charge takes under 30 minutes.

The regular 2014 Mitsubishi outlander will seat seven, and arrives with a host of safety and technological features.

Mitsubishi has worked hard to reduce vehicle weight, and the new car tips the scales at 200 pounds less than the old model. MIVEC variable valve timing helps to improve performance and efficiency in a re-engineered version of the 2.4-liter, four cylinder engine. A V-6 will also be available.

No pricing has yet been announced--but expect more details on both models to emerge during the show.

You can keep up with the latest from LA on our 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show page.

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Comments (12)
  1. "...gasoline engine can run independently of the driven wheels..."
    Does that mean it can also drive the wheels mechanically? Also, Is this a "through-the-road" hybrid system?
     
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  2. Yes. It can operate as an electric vehicle, a parallel hybrid, AND a series hybrid--depending on what's most efficient to meet the power required.
     
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  3. Thanks for the clarification. Looks like this car is just what people need. The only problem if the fuel economy will justify the price premium compared to conventional car.
     
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  4. Yes, just read the rest of that paragraph.
    It can do all the modes. It can do the series hybrid, also known as "through the road", parallel hybrid and EV modes.

    "When more power is required, the car can switch to parallel hybrid mode, where the twin electric motors provide assistance for the internal combustion engine."
     
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  5. I just found the definition of a "Through the Road" hybrid, and yes, it sounds like that too. Here is the Definition:

    http://silverthorninst.org/Automotive%20and%20transport/AutoTrends2.htm
    "Another cost-efficient hybrid configuration has been termed a "through the road" configuration. It starts with a conventional two-wheel drive train, and adds electric drive on the other two wheels. The separate systems pull together, when extra power or extra road traction are needed. When power demand is low—at low speeds or low accelerator settings—the electric drive operates alone. The drive from the IC engine is disengaged, through an automatic clutch or automatic shift to neutral, and the IC engine is stopped. "
     
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  6. To clarify Jesse, a through-the-road hybrid uses different powertrains on different axles. The Mitsubishi has an electric motor for *each* axle, as well as ICE power to the front wheels.
     
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  7. Will this be the most efficient SUV on the market?

    I am guessing a MPGe rating of 85.
     
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  8. Antony, did we get any new info at the LA Auto Show? I'm really curious on the battery thermal management. I hope it will have active liquid TMS. Any updates?
     
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  9. So is this still coming in the summer, or is it pushed back til 2014? Doesn't Japan have it yet? They said December in Japan.

    If it comes in under $40,000, then I think it will be a hit, competing with the Highlander hybrid and some fully loaded mid-size SUVs. And you can sign me up. But if it is over $45,000, then it will be competing against luxury SUVs, including some hybrids. None of them will get the same mpg, but I dont think mitsubishi can match creature comforts with a lexus.
     
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  10. It goes on sale in Japan next month, then Europe around Aug-Sep, and is slated to be available in the US in Jan 2014.

    I'd be pleasantly shocked if the price was $40k before incentives. I expect $45-$50k with a Fed Tax Credit of $5,800.
     
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  11. Just an update, this car wasn't at the autoshow, they only had a mockup of the regular gas powered version (same dimensions though). Sitting nexto the current outlander, this one looked significantly lower and longer. In terms of proportions I'd call it more of a miniature Ford Flex than a tall riding SUV. All the reps would tell me is that its scheduled for a "winter 2013" release.

    Digging into some foreign news stories, it seems Mitsubishi execs in australia and new zealand are claiming that they are shooting to just barely undercut the base price of the volt ($39,000 in the USA) in those countries. Here however, the volt, with its 16kwh battery gets a larger tax credit.
     
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  12. Also, when you look at the efficiency data from Toyota's RAV4 EV, which has similar size/dimensions, coefficient of drag, and electric power, i think stretching the outlander's PHEV's electric range might get you 20miles down the road or so if you're lucky.

    Rav4 EV:
    1x115kw (154hp) motor
    175inx72in
    cd of 0.3
    41.8kwh battery pack takes it 103miles

    outlander phev:
    2x60kw(80hp) motors
    183inx70in
    cd of 0.33
    12kwh battery pack

    If you do the math, it works out to roughly 18miles assuming that like the volt, the outlander's normal usable battery capacity is 65% of total capacity. I'm calling it 20miles because i think the outlander PHEV will weigh less than the 4000lb RAV4 EV.
     
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