Mitsubishi Teases New Plug-in Hybrid Concept Ahead of Paris Motor Show While U.S. Waits For Outlander PHEV

Launched in late 2013, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is to date, the world’s most popular plug-in hybrid SUV, with sales in some key European markets outnumbering the popular Nissan LEAF electric car.

Despite not yet going on sale in the U.S. — its launch there has been delayed multiple times in the past two years — the affordable plug-in SUV has proven something of a savior for the brand, offering customers a way to own a practical SUV with the fuel economy of a compact hybrid. With its small iMiEV electric city car almost completely forgotten, Mitsubishi has already declared its intent to bring its plug-in hybrid technology to the rest of its vehicle lineup in the next few years, as well as an all-electric long-range SUV.

Tweak the filters, and the teaser photo reminds us of the Mitsubishi eX (above)

Tweak the filters, and the teaser photo reminds us of the Mitsubishi eX (above)

And this fall at the Paris Motor Show, we’ll get to see the first concept car that could hint at what it has in store for those vehicles: a grand-tourer with plug-in hybrid capabilities.

Announced this week, little is known about the “Grand Tourer Concept.” Teased with a single photograph, Mitsubishi says its new plug-in hybrid concept is an “up-market SUV” which is the “latest expression of Mitsubishi Motors’ design ambitions.” While it doesn’t discuss vehicle specifications, Mitsubishi hints in its press release that the vehicle could include augmented reality design elements as well as fully connected advanced driver assistance systems.

The Mitsubishi eX was a fully electric concept: this new car is a plug-in hybrid.

The mItsubishi eX was a fully-electric concept: this new car is a plug-in hybrid.

Given that Mitsubishi’s recent all-electric concept car — the eX Electric SUV debuted last year at the Tokyo Motor Show — showcased fully autonomous vehicle capabilities as well as dynamic user-adjustable driving characteristics, we’d guess that this new, unnamed plug-in concept will offer similar capabilities.


As for the drivetrain? We’re guessing it will most likely be based on the plug-in hybrid drivetrain found in the current generation Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid, which translates to a dual-motor, all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid with 2.0 litre turbocharged gasoline engine.

Meanwhile, the exterior looks similar to some of Mitsubishi’s previous concept vehicles (the eX in particular), with a sweeping windshield and low roofline The front grille is also swept back, with high wheel arches front and rear contributing to a high waistline. Meanwhile, the rear tailgate is evocative of the lines used in grand tourers from BMW and Audi.

Given that Mitsubishi is now part owned by Nissan, we’re also interested to know if the new Grand Tourer concept will use any of Nissan’s current plug-in vehicle technology, but given Nissan is currently only working on electric and range-extended electric vehicle drivetrains, we’re guessing this particular vehicle will be Mitsubishi-engineered for the most part.

What hopes do you have for Mitsubishi’s new plug-in hybrid concept? Should Mitsubishi be focusing on plug-in or all-electric models — and when do you think that long-awaited Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will finally launch in the U.S.?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Thank you for noting that the US still waits for the outlander PHEV.

    I gave up anticipating its arrival last year after repeated delays. Now we learn when it does arrive i’ll be without CHAdeMO capability.

    • richard butler

      I have had my Outlander PHEV for just over a year.

      Having the CHAdeMO was one of the many “tick boxes” that encouraged me to buy it. Because I didn’t know how any of this new fangled electric stuff worked at the time.

      I’ve probably used the CHAdeMO about 10 to 20 times. In the beginning it was because it was a new toy and I was seeing how it worked, and then it got used because I arranged to happened to need to stop where there was one that was free to use.

      The main point of the CHAdeMO is to get lots of electric into the battery in a short time, so that you can continue on your long journey. But in an Outlander the 80% boost would only get you 10 to 15 miles at motorway speed.

      In England, the company that has a monopoly on providing CHAdeMO charging on motorway services has just introduced a new pricing system. It is now cheaper/quicker/more convenient to pay for petrol rather than using a CHAdeMO. So I’m probably not going to use it ever again.

      The chargers are expensive to install. and probably to maintain.

      Wth the current size battery in the Outlander, if the cost to use a CHAdeMO is much more than just of the standard domestic price for the electric from a CHAdeMO service, you are better off with a reduction in the cost of the car of not having it fitted, and just use the standard J1772 for overnight or destination charging.

  • Louise Flynn

    Good read! Sounds like a great vehicle.