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New 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, First Details, Goes on Sale Worldwide Next Year

Together with the premiere of the European version of the Mirage, Mitsubishi will present the global debut of the new Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) at the 2012 Paris Motor Show held from Thursday, September 27 through Sunday, October 14.

The Japanese automaker says that the Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV offering “the environmental performance of an electric vehicle (EV), the cruising range of a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, and the on- and off-road performance of an SUV”.

The Outlander PHEV’s hybrid powertrain links a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine to a pair of electric motors, one on each axle, along with a high-capacity 12 kWh lithium-ion drive battery.

All electric systems are derived from other pure-electric Mitsubishi models such as the i-MiEV.

The vehicle offers three separate driving modes named EV, Series Hybrid and Parallel Hybrid, that can be selected manually or automatically, depending on driving conditions and remaining battery charge.

In EV mode, the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery. According to Mitsubishi, in this mode, the battery gives the crossover a cruising range of over 55 km or 34 miles.

When the Series Hybrid mode kicks in, the gasoline engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The Japanese carmaker said that the system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required, “such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient such as a slope”.

In Parallel Hybrid Mode, the four-cylinder gasoline engine provides most of the power to motivate the vehicle, but is assisted by the electric motors whenever required. This mode is usually selected for higher-speed driving.

Mitsubishi said that it targets a combined fuel efficiency in excess of 61 km/liter (equal to 143.5 mpg US, 1.64 lt/100km and 172 mpg UK) on the Japanese driving cycle, though keep in mind that this figure includes the use of the battery. The crossover’s driving range is said to exceed 880 kilometers or 547 miles.
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