Mitsubishi, still scrambling to catch up to its rivals in the race for clean power-train technology, will be introducing the PX-MiEV hybrid crossover  concept-car at next month's Tokyo auto-show.  Like all Mistubishi's show cars this year, the PX-MiEV is derived from the production i-MiEV electric vehicle scheduled to go on sale next year but unlike the i-MiEV it will be a plug-In hybrid, capable of operating in either electric-only mode or with a direct-drive boost from the internal combustion motor.

The car operates in full EV mode at low speeds, but as the battery level falls, A 1.6-liter inline-four will power a generator which delivers power to both front and rear-wheel electric motors and the battery pack. Under strong acceleration and at higher speeds, the internal combustion engine will also help drive the front wheels mechanically.  Driving mode is determined by the i-MiEV operating system which monitors speed, acceleration, wheel-slip and battery level to optimize efficiency.  Full EV-mode range is said to be approximately 30 miles.

The plug-in system allows users to tap into the grid with either a 100, 200-volt outlet, or higher voltage quick-charger.

The concept car is also fitted with experimental safety technologies such as wireless vehicle sensing, perimeter cameras, steering wheel mounted controls and a driver monitor camera that watches driver eye-movements to determine alertness and issues audibleand vibratory warnings when it detects a problem.
[SOURCE: Automotive News]