Mitsubishi To Show Hybrid Pickup, 'Suburban Electric' Concepts At Geneva

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Teaser for Mitsubishi GR-HEV concept

Teaser for Mitsubishi GR-HEV concept

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How long do you think Mitsubishi has been working on electric vehicles? Since a few years before the i-MiEV electric car hit Japanese roads, perhaps?

Nope--1966. It surprised us too, but illustrates that the company actually has considerable experience in developing electric powertrains, even if a jellybean-shaped electric car is the only product we've been able to drive.

The company's range is starting to expand though, and two new concept cars debuting at the Geneva Motor Show next month fill different niches from its existing products.


One is the Concept GR-HEV, shown in the teaser image above.

This is a 'Sport Utility Hybrid Truck', a one-tonne hybrid pickup. Rather than a plug-in hybrid drivetrain like that in the Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi's 'HEV' architecture pairs electric motors with a clean diesel engine.

It isn't clear whether the GR-HEV is a mild hybrid or full hybrid, but the vehicle will feature all-wheel drive.

Mitsubishi is aiming for ambitious CO2 emissions of 149 g/km, which equates to around 41 mpg, albeit on the European economy cycle. It's been designed to meet both work and leisure requirements, while the diesel powertrain has been chosen as it's most suited to the heavy-duty requirements of pickup users.

Teaser for Mitsubishi CA-MiEV concept

Teaser for Mitsubishi CA-MiEV concept

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You'll recognise the acronym 'MiEV' here, from the Mitsubishi i electric car--called the i-MiEV in other markets. It stands for 'Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle', and means Mitsubishi's second concept is a battery electric car.

The Concept CA-MiEV is a 'suburban EV', offering a range of around 186 miles.

That's a useful increase on Mitsubishi's current electric car, and points to a vehicle which the company says takes electric cars beyond purely urban environments.

The concept features a lightweight, aerodynamic body, to maximise the performance of the high-density batteries within. It could point towards the look and specification of a future production model, so we're intrigued to see more comprehensive images than the moody teaser you see above.

Both will go on display at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which opens on March 5. You can catch up with all the news and launches at the show on our Geneva Motor Show page.


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Comments (11)
  1. If they've been working on EVs since 1966 then they truly suck if the overpriced i-MiEV is all they can show for themselves right now. Yes, I know, small company with limited resources, etc. They may also have a bigger presence in other markets but I'd add them to the death watch in the US, new concepts or not. It's tough to sell non-discounted cars, especially if you can't even find a dealer without driving across the state.

  2. As of recently, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, along with the Leaf, has been very price competitive. I'm excited based on this, the silhouette (sporty design?), and potential 186 mile range. Let's hope it's not vapor hardware (another CONCEPT car) and that it goes on sale soon, rather than later.

  3. Jan as a plugin advocate old-timer your ignorant negative comments could not be more wrong.

    In 1966 power electronics had not been invented yet, they were just doing R&D as any good Automaker would. In the 1st wave of public EVs (before GM and other Automakers put kibosh on that), Mitsubishi made a token effort because they knew their were Oil and Automaker forces working to fight the CARB mandate).

    Outside U.S. fuel is ~$10/gallon, U.S. prices will eventually be their too. Now we begin the process of allowing some drivers choose U.S. generated-electricity powered vehicles.

    Plugins haters, no one but Big Oil is forcing you to consider one. Be angry with them, and not the plugin driver. Also, CNG is another option.

  4. What exactly is ignorant about my comments, bruce? I have the LEAF whose tech doesn't go back to 1966 and even comparing the more expensive 2012 model, the i-MiEV offers less for more. The leasing rates are +50% more and the car is tiny, ugly, and offers terrible range. Maybe that's why the i-MiEV sells less than one a day in the WHOLE country - is that ignorant? Do you know where your closest Mitsubishi dealer is? Have you driven the car? I have - I as even on the original sign-up list. The only ignorant, negative, overreacting, and uncalled for is your response. People like you give us hippies a bad name. God forbid I say something bad about the dying Coda - I would be afraid to listen to your tirade. Maybe you're just a tired old-timer.

  5. I bought an i-miev and love it. 4 leaf dealers and 2 Mitsubishi dealers right in my city. I am not going to say anything negative about the Leaf but for my driving needs the Mitsubishi is the better car overall. I have had quite a few people stop me and say how cute my car is. We have volts all over the place but very few I- miev's or leafs or Teslas

  6. Lots of love for Mitsubishi tonight! I'm glad it's working out for you, however, in an honest 'apples to apples' there's no comparison. The LEAF is getting so much better and much cheaper in 2013 and it has its own set of challenges as it is. I signed up for i-MiEV on the first day it was available - a year later they dumped 5 of them at my local dealer and the dealer still had them sitting on the lot (with the 100% battery charge of course) 12 months later right before changing to Volvo. I appreciate Mitsubishi but I also had respect for Suzuki and Isuzu (sold my Mighty Max years back but still have 2002 Trooper.) All poorly managed but I hope they still stock parts for the die-hards 7 years later after pulling the plug (no pun intended.)

  7. Mitsubishi trumps Nissan any day, in every way, and ever how.

  8. Anything Mitsubishi is doing is big-time news ta this padre. They are the best automaker on the planet, and that is why I say that.

  9. Give us the price of the Outlander PHEV!!

  10. @Phil: That price hasn't been released by Mitsubishi yet. We'll report on it when that happens.

  11. When I purchased our Miev a year ago, one of my major considerations was the quality and background of the company. Obviously some start-up electric car manufacturers were not going to make it, i.e. the Coda. Mitsubishi has an excellent background in electrical development and a wide manufacturing base. They can easily withstand the ups and downs of introducing a new technology to driving. They are shooting for a World market, not just the U.S. Now, if they would just advertise in the U.S. a little more....

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