Mitsubishi has launched their very first, and the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Ok, sure. We have seen plug-in SUV’s before like the BMW’s plug-in X5 concept, but this is the first one to make it to market.
With an official fuel consumption of 1.9litres per 100km, and 52km electric driving range this is the next phase of evolution for electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Joining this next stage of evolution is BMW’s i3 and i8. It should be a very fun year indeed.
One big point of the Outlander PHEV is its price point. With the RRP starting at $47,490 for the PHEV which shares a lot of the creature comforts of the range topping Aspire model, it really creates a level of value.
Regardless of its size, this is ground breaking for a car like this. To give some perspective, the Holden Volt which is a four-seater plug-in hybrid car is priced from $60,000. This is over $10,000 for a SUV.
Under the hood of the Outlander PHEV, it’s powered by twin 60kW electric motors at the front and rear, a 12kWh lithium ion drive battery, 70kW output portable generator, and an 87kW 2litre four cylinder MIVEC petrol engine if you need some extra range.
The Outlander PHEV isn’t designed for speed, it is designed for efficiency and to support the electric portion of the car. More so, the engine will really only be there to charge the battery of the car exclusively.
As such there are three modes available in the Outlander PHEV. Firstly EV Drive Mode, Series and Parallel modes. All of these operate seamlessly without the driver needing to do anything. It’s worked out based on driving style and battery levels.
Mitsubishi have seemingly learnt a lot about what people want from a plug-in hybrid car. As a result, you can push the electric engine to get you to 120km/h without any assistance from the 2litre petrol engine.
Finally, Mitsubishi has included regenerative braking to allow you to recharge the battery when you are braking or coasting. This lets you further extend the range or gain more advantage in start-stop traffic.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is available from the 31st of March and is priced from $47,490.