• Mitsubishi PHEV

Mitsubishi Bringing New PHEV Crossover Concept to Tokyo Show

An electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind.

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams September 20, 2019

Mitsubishi is planning to add to its lineup of electrified crossovers and is giving us a tease. The company has revealed a rendering of what looks to be the back glass of the concept that’s set to be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

The company’s description of the new model is “an electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind.” Which is good, because well-lit conditions are certainly a challenge to automakers these days. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but this is a tease even by pre-show teaser standards.

What we see in the pic is confusing. It looks to have some very large buttresses on the rear instead of the usual rear glass and hatchback that you’d expect from a crossover. And sticking out of those clear buttresses are what look to be either exterior-facing speakers or, and this would be better suited to Mitsubishi’s rally heritage, the rear-facing radiators and massive cooling fans you might see in some sort of desert racer or rally car.

Mitsubishi had the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market when it launched the Outlander PHEV. If they didn’t seem that early, it’s because that model was launched in 2013 in other parts of the world, but the crossover and its fully-electric AWD system didn’t arrive here until 2018.

The automaker says that this new crossover will have “a downsized, lower-weight plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) drivetrain.” We assume that’s relative to the Outlander, which sports a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and a pair of 60kW electric motors that allow four-wheel drive in electric-only mode. The Outlander also sports a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery that allows for a 35 km electric range. A smaller engine and smaller battery in a smaller, lighter vehicle could still, in theory, offer similar range.

Mitsubishi says that this one will be capable of serious off-roading, “allowing drivers of all abilities to confidently push further over the unmade or rough road surfaces when engaging in outdoor activities.”

We’ll have to wait for the Tokyo show, starting October 24th, to see the rest of this new PHEV concept.