Mitsubishi doesn't sell a pickup truck in the U.S, but elsewhere around the world its L200 model is a highly popular utility vehicle.

Typically powered by a 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine, the L200 mixes a one-ton payload with almost 6,000 lbs of braked towing capacity. It's smaller than many U.S. pickups, but eminently useful.

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, the Mitsubishi GR-HEV concept is a futuristic take on vehicles like the L200.

A diesel engine remains, still 2.5-liters in capacity, but this time it's matched to a front-mounted electric motor, making this pickup a hybrid.

The combined power of electric motor and 2.5-liter clean diesel engine is sent through an automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive transmission, giving it the same off-road ability as the L200. It even utilizes body-on-frame construction for maximum durability.

As well as reducing load on the engine, therefore improving fuel efficiency, the electric motor enhances low-down responses and improves high-end torque--a typical weakness of diesel engines.

The upshot of the diesel-hybrid powertrain is impressive economy and low emissions. The latter is said to be less than 149 g/km of CO2, equivalent to around 41 mpg on the European economy cycle. That's around 10 mpg better than the combined economy of the equivalent auto-transmission L200 pickup, despite offering the potential for greater performance.

Should a vehicle like the GR-HEV eventually hit the market, a hybrid powertrain could be the easiest aspect of the car to get used to--we suspect many more will be divided over the styling.

To our eyes it looks great, every inch a futuristic take on a modern theme. It's not at the expense of capability either, since the dual-cab concept still seats five, and still carries a ton.

But for traditional pickup buyers, it could be a little over-styled. Pickup buyers like 'em big, and they like 'em square. For them, the GR-HEV might not be quite enough of either...

For more production car and concept launches, head to our Geneva Motor Show page for all the photos and details.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.