The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has been on sale in Japan and Europe for quite some time now, but its U.S. launch has been delayed repeatedly.

The model has actually undergone a thorough mid-cycle refresh during the time it has taken Mitsubishi to schedule the plug-in hybrid for U.S. distribution.

Now a report confirms that the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid likely won't appear in showrooms before a spate of plug-in SUVs from luxury carmakers.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid: Spring 2016 On-Sale Date, More Details Revealed

Mitsubishi will begin selling the selling the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid here next May, according to industry trade journal Automotive News (subscription required).

When it does, the plug-in SUV will likely feature similar styling to the rest of the Outlander lineup, first seen at the 2015 New York Auto Show back in April.

The refreshed non-hybrid Outlander is a 2016 model; the plug-in hybrid may be a 2017 model.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

No major changes to the powertrain are expected, meaning the Outlander will continue to use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, with two electric motors and a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

One motor can be clutched to the gasoline engine to help drive the front wheels, while the second drives the rear wheels.

ALSO SEE: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid: Gas Mileage Drive Report (Sep 2014)

The current Outlander Plug-In Hybrid is rated at 32.5 miles of electric-only range, albeit on the notoriously optimistic European testing cycle.

Mitsubishi is expected to make some changes to the powertrain's control system, potentially yielding a slight increase in actual range by the time the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid arrives in the U.S.

By the time it does, the Outlander will be sharing the roads with at least small numbers of several plug-in hybrid utility vehicles from more upscale brands, including versions of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Volvo XC90, and possibly the Audi Q7 as well.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander (left) and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander (right)

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander (left) and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander (right)

Mitsubishi is also rumored to be working on more plug-in hybrids.

The company has shown multiple versions of its XR-PHEV concept, which is thought to foretell a plug-in hybrid version of the next Outlander Sport.

MORE: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Plug-In Hybrid Previewed By XR-PHEV II Concept In Geneva

Mitsubishi also showed the Concept GC-PHEV at auto shows earlier this year, hinting at a possible new version of the discontinued Montero SUV.

If it ever becomes available in the U.S. again, that could also feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain.


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