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 conceptCA-MiEV
Teaser for Mitsubishi CA-MiEV conceptEnlarge Photo
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.