Mitsubishi Motors: Making Some Noise In the U.S. of A.

If you’re a US automotive consumer, Mitsubishi hasn’t made much noise for awhile.  Here are some names you haven’t heard for ages:  Eclipse, Mirage, Starion, Galant, Diamante, and the 3000.

If there’s anything from them we’ve heard about recently it’s been the M-iEV.  Which, as EVs go, is pretty….well we just won’t go there.

But the company, which if you didn’t know is a VERY LARGE global conglomerate, is beginning to make some noise again.

The most recent wave was made last week when Mitsubishi put out some shadowy pictures of a new Outlander SUV.  Here’s a picture:

NYIAS 2016 Outlander Teaser Images, courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors.

NYIAS 2016 Outlander Teaser Images, courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors.

 

I don’t understand all the drama, because after a single Google search, I found a promo video for an Outlander PHEV at Mitsubishi’s website and YouTube channel.  It’s the one above.  The new vehicle, PHEV or not, will be revealed at next week’s New York International Auto Show.

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At the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, the company revealed the GC-PHEV Concept.  It reminded me of a juiced version of the Outlander, another great name and vehicle from Mitsubishi’s past.  The GC-PHEV was a statement about a very large SUV powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain.  To me, the thinking rivaled what Volvo was already doing with the 2016 XC90.  Video courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors.  In their press information for the Chicago show, Mitsubishi had this to say about the GC-PHEV:

The full-size SUV dream machine wears a bold, muscular body that’s fitted with the powerful yet highly efficient 335-horsepower supercharged MIVEC V-6. The gasoline engine works with a 94-hp electric motor plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain. A 12-kWh lithium-ion battery setup is capable to provide up to 25 miles on pure electric-only motoring. The system is completed with an eight-speed automatic transmission, Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) full-time all-wheel drive and advanced next-generation high-tech features. Additional technological features of the Concept GC-PHEV include advanced safety systems such as Mitsubishi Motors “Connected Car” Technology, AR Windshield, Pedestrian Collision Mitigating Auto-braking, Rearward Blind Spot Vehicle Warning, Unintentional Vehicle Move Off Control, Driver Monitor and more. An innovative technology incorporated in the Concept GC-PHEV is the Tactical Table, which is a blue-lit touch-screen information system making connected car technology an interactive experience available to everyone inside the vehicle. 

 

At the Geneva Motor Show, Mitsubishi showed off 2 new vehicles, the XR-PHEV and the L200 pickup.

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The XR-PHEV is their vision of a compact SUV.  Before we go any farther, is it just me or is PHEV–plug-in hybrid vehicle–a big part of where Mitsu is going?  Also, can you tell that they’re looking to make a move in the SUV market?

Anyway, instead of opining, here’s what Mitsubishi says about the XR:

The XR-PHEV is a small SUV concept expected to be MMC’s second PHEV following the Outlander PHEV launched in January 2013. The new PHEV system presented in the MITSUBISHI Concept XR-PHEV II is a lightweight, compact and high-efficiency front-engine/front-drive system ideal for an urban crossover. The system is estimated to achieve very low CO2 emissions of below 40 g/km, among the lowest of any PHEV, while also delivering gutsy and smooth performance with excellent response with its 163 ps electric motor. The concept model reflects MMC’s focus on electric vehicles in its approach to environmental technologies and is currently developing PHEV systems best suited to each model in its lineup with a view to introducing them in the near future.

 

Mitubishi is making a move at Nissan, Toyota and the rest of the pickup truck players with their updated L200 model.

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The new L200 is the European version of the Triton, introduced in Thailand in 2014.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this appears in US showrooms under the L200 or another nameplate.  “Triton” might cause Ford’s trademark attorneys to start barking.  According to Mitsubishi:

(The L200) was developed as “The ultimate sport utility truck” and to provide an interior space with comfort levels on par with a passenger model. The diesel version of the L200 uses a turbocharged 2.4-liter MIVEC diesel engine which complies with European emission regulations. In addition it emits just 169 g/km of CO2, among the lowest in its class while delivering powerful output with 181 ps (High Power model). Four-wheel drive models employ the Super Select 4WD-II drivetrain from the Pajero*4 with four selectable drive modes to give the driver the ideal traction for any types of road conditions and outstanding all-terrain performance. The all-new Triton/L200pickups are being introduced sequentially over the globe with plans to eventually introduce them into some 150 countries.

 

As I said, one of these countries will likely be the United States.

 

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Sebastian James

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