Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, 2012 Paris Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid crossover has been on sale in Europe and Japan for some time now, but its U.S. launch has been repeatedly delayed.
In fact, it's been pushed back so far that the Outlander underwent a fairly extensive mid-cycle refresh in the meantime.
And now it appears Mitsubishi will once again delay the plug-in hybrid's U.S. launch, by a few months at least.
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid will arrive here in "late summer" as a 2017 model, according to Alex Fedorak of Mitsubishi public relations in response to a query from Green Car Reports.
That's a bit later than the Spring 2016 on-sale date discussed by Mitsubishi back in June.
It means the plug-in hybrid model will be able to take advantage of updates made to the rest of the range for the 2016 model year, including, increased noise insulation, an updated interior, and revised styling.
2015 Mitsubishi Outlander (left) and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander (right)Enlarge Photo
No major changes are expected for the powertrain, which includes a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine and two electric motors.
One motor works with the internal-combustion engine to drive the front wheels, while the other drives the rear wheels, creating a "through the road" all-wheel-drive system.
The 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack currently provides enough capacity for 32.5 miles of electric range--at least as measured on the optimistic European testing cycle.
Mitsubishi has also hinted that it will make some tweaks to the powertrain's control system to improve performance and increase range.
Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid quick drive (European model)Enlarge Photo
Originally previewed as a concept at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show and slated for U.S. introduction in 2013, the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid would have been the first plug-in hybrid utility vehicle sold here.
But now Mitsubishi will have been beaten by several luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs that launched as 2016 models.
Those include the BMW X5 xDrive 40e, Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e, and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine. An Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid may have also launched by the time the Outlander is introduced.
Still, the Mitsubishi will be the only plug-in hybrid utility vehicle without a luxury badge, so it will likely be priced lower than the others when it finally goes on sale here next year.