TOKYO – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will celebrate two debuts at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show(1) to be held in Geneva from March 6 through March 18, 2018: the European premiere of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT, and the global premiere of the new 2019 model year Outlander PHEV, which will be introduced to the European market this early fall.
Both the new Outlander PHEV, and the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT embody the cutting edge technology and expressive design MMC is making its own, today and for the years to come. They also express, each in their own way, MMC’s product strategy as part of the brand’s ambitions: a carefully crafted blend of SUV expertise and electro-mobility technology, augmented with state-of-the-art system integration technologies for a progressive driving experience.
The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT
The new Outlander PHEV
In 2013, and drawing on a background of 80 years of 4WD expertise, 50 years of electro-mobility R&D, and 30 years of rally winning all-wheel control technology, MMC launched the segment-defining Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric Twin Motor SUV. MMC did so ahead of other auto makers.
Since then, boosted by positive market response and supported by continuous improvement, Outlander PHEV has turned from a vehicle for early adopters into MMC core business. The Outlander PHEV has been Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2015, 2016 and 2017(2). More than 100,000 units have been sold in Europe so far. With cumulative sales of over 140,000 units worldwide, the Outlander PHEV counts as the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid SUV.
Bringing together the very best of MMC technology, the Outlander PHEV is MMC’s flagship. Its PHEV technology delivered important breakthroughs in cruising range, still a bottleneck in the EV category. The Outlander PHEV solved the conundrum of emissions and noise, problem areas of diesel-powered cars. The Outlander PHEV is the answer to customers who want to extend the range of their EV car journeys, and who want to go on other adventures than hunting for chargers.
The 2019 model year Outlander PHEV features a next generation system with both EV and SUV breakthroughs. More SUV and more EV than ever, the newest iteration unveiled in Geneva will push boundaries even further with – amongst others – a complete redesign of its powertrain, with sharper dynamics, a more refined interior, and a subtle design evolution.
The PHEV System: PHEV 2.0
– A 2.4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine replaces the previous regular Otto cycle 2.0 liter. It allows for higher torque, smoother operation, and overall higher efficiency.
– The generator output is increased by 10%.
– The rear motor output is increased by 10%.
– The drive battery capacity is increased by 15%.
– The drive battery output is increased by 10%.
The 4WD System: More Modes
The NORMAL and 4WD LOCK modes of previous models are joined by two additional driving modes. A SPORT mode gives the driver more direct control for greater driving enjoyment on winding roads. A SNOW mode provides greater confidence on snow-covered, or slippery surfaces.
The Design: Sharp and Sophisticated
– The outside appearance of the vehicle has been enhanced with a number of subtle improvements, such as new LED tech-look headlamps, rectangular front fog lamp bezels, a more substantial front grille with the DYNAMIC SHIELD visual identity, and a front center cover skid plate. A more elaborate multi-spoke two-tone design for the new 18 inch alloy wheels, and the addition of a larger rear spoiler give the car a sharper and more sophisticated look.
– Inside, changes underscore a quality feeling, highlighted by the new quilted fine leather upholstery, all-new hip-hugging front seats, revised switchgear, a new instrument panel, new trimming, rear A/C outlets, and more.
The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT
The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a technical prototype to illustrate the strategic directions of a renewed Mitsubishi Motors brand. It incorporates the strengths of SUV, EV, and the tight integration of new systems for a connected mobility customer experience.
The all-electric high-performance SUV embodies MMC’s new brand strategy under the new “Drive your Ambition” global tagline, a strategy that reflects an adventurous and progressive mindset for inspirational design and product, based on breakthrough SUVs, and driven by a fusion of electrification and system integration.
Based on a “Robust & Ingenious” philosophy, MMC has created a distinctive and engaging design that gives shape to the robustness, authenticity and functional traits distinguishing MMC vehicles.
MMC has a long and strong heritage. Think of “Mitsubishi Motors,” and proven off-road performance, along with superior 4WD control, come to mind. Now, the banner of superior, high-performance 4WD control is carried forward by the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. Its design expresses the readiness to grip the ground with all four-wheels, and the agility of a high performance cross-country tourer.
– The front face design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a fresh take on MMC’s archetypal DYNAMIC SHIELD design. The black grille is shielded under glass, a subtle hint that this car is a high performance electric vehicle. Protected under the glass, and accentuated by blue lines for emphasis, sit cameras and sensors. Aerodynamics were improved by large air intakes beneath the headlamps. They also help to efficiently cool the electric brake calipers.
– In the side view, the design emphasizes the SUV personality using a profile with strong shoulders, and a lower body with a distinctive inward slope, along with a sharp, sculpted horizontal character line, and a high ground clearance.
– The short overhangs project nimbleness and agility. The muscular styling of the corners hints at the powerful torque the four wheels are ready to lay down on the tarmac.
– The deep slant of the front windshield, and the short overhangs create the unique silhouette only possible in an EV.
– The large hexagon shape at the rear draws inspiration from the spare tire cover of the quintessential SUV, the legendary Pajero, a hallmark of off-road driving, and one of the most iconic chapters of Mitsubishi’s heritage.
– The design of the C-pillar reminds of the tail fin of a jet. The air intake and diffuser running from the C-pillar to the rear bumper add to the aerodynamics
– The absence of a big internal combustion engine under the hood gave designers the space to realize a radically novel cockpit. The instrument panel appears to float in front of the driver. This is a Mitsubishi vehicle, and the instrument panel adopts Mitsubishi’s trademark horizontal styling, with the focus on information above the axis, and on operation below. Acting like a level in an electronic viewfinder, the horizontal instrument panel makes it easier to sense the state of the vehicle during driving – form follows function well down the road.
– A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard. It displays outside conditions, navigation and coaching information. The large screen is flanked by two smaller screens, showing views supplied by front and rear cameras. In tight situations, the driver will appreciate a camera view looking over the front tires, allowing a degree of high precision maneuvering never seen before.
– Full-glass windows provide near unobstructed 360-degree visibility, for a feeling more akin to a jet fighter than a car.
– EV system: The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT uses high-torque, high-performance electric motors, fed by a high-capacity battery system to deliver the smooth and powerfully responsive performance that distinguishes EVs from ICE-powered vehicles. The drive battery is located under the floor mid-ship of the vehicle, providing a low center of gravity for the utmost driving stability.
– 4WD system: For exceptional driving performance, the triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels, complemented by a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring (AYC) unit. All of this is integrated into MMC’s unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system.
Cornering performance and traction performance are improved. The brakes of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT responsively and precisely control the driving forces with the help of electric calipers that supersede the conventional hydraulic caliper. The effects of the system can be felt and appreciated immediately, even at low speeds when G-forces are low. Whether driving around town, on expressways, or winding roads, the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent.
– AI system: The brain of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that augments the driver’s capabilities. An array of sensors allows the AI system to instantly read changes in road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver’s intent. Seamlessly coordinating driver intent with vehicle performance, the system supports drivers of all abilities. By making it easier and safer to control the vehicle, the motoring experience is brought to a new level. A special coaching function allows the AI system to transfer knowledge to the driver, and to unobtrusively enhance the driving expertise. After building a picture of the driver’s skill level, the system constructs a training program that provides advice through voice dialogue and a large dashboard display. As a result, drivers of all abilities quickly experience a vehicle that behaves the way they want it, and soon they find themselves enjoying the driving experience to an even greater degree.
(1) Le 88e Salon international de l’Automobile Geneve, with press days on March 6 and 7 and public days from March 8 through March 18. MMC will hold its press conference at 10:45 am on March 6 at the MMC stand in Hall 2.
(2) Source: JATO