• Oct 19th 2009 at 1:32PM
  • 13
Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Mitsubishi PX-MiEV, scheduled for an official debut at the Tokyo Motor Show later this week, is jam packed with the best technology Mitsubishi has to offer. It's a series hybrid. It's a parallel hybrid. It has a 30 mile EV range. It will reportedly net 140 MPG. It has the same AWD system as the Lancer EVO X, enabling the crossover concept to switch modes based on how the 'ute is being driven. Why throw the technology sink at the PX-MiEV? Because it's a concept, of course, and concepts are supposed to be fanciful. But why the AWD?

For starters, AWD and hybrid tech don't usually mix, because driving all four wheels at the same time typically decreases fuel economy. So why add AWD to the PX-MiEV concept? The folks over at Autocar feel it could signal Mitsubishi's intent to offer plug-in tech in the Lancer Evolution XI. The Brits reportedly talked to Mitsubishi insiders who say the next-gen Evo could receive the plug-in tech showcased in the PX-MiEV.

While there's an up side to including plug-in tech on the next generation Evo, there are plenty of negatives as well. The high price point could better justify the added cost of hybrid tech, and the powertrain setup in the PX-MiEV, if fitted to the next Evo, would give torquetastic electric twist strictly to the rear wheels. Then there is the emissions issue, which would undoubtedly improve with a few battery packs equipped to Mitsubishi's road-going rally sedan.

Unfortunately, adding lithium battery packs and electric motors would also add significant weight to a vehicle that already tips the scales at over 3,500 pounds. Mitsubishi could shave some tonnage to offset some of the gains, but light weight materials would only add cost to an already pricey proposition. Mitsubishi is already having a bit of trouble trying to find enough customers to justify a $40,000 vehicle based off the spartan Lancer platform, so we're thinking that a plug-in Evo may not be such a great idea after all.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I seem to remember that Mitsubishi has intended a PHEV drive train for some future Evo for a while now. They were (I've not kept up in a long time) researching the viability of using wheel motors with the batteries housed in a sandwich-type floor and a generator up front, the point being easy driveability rather than outright fuel economy (no turbo lag, no shifting, full electronic control of torque, etc). So yeah, it'd be expensive as all hell, but it'd advance the technology beyond eco-mobiles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Plug-in hybrid Lancer Evo? Is anything sacred anymore?

      Nice job breaking it, Greenpeace alarmists.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OMG, How come that They dont even Respect Sport/Racing Oritented Cars, Im pretty Ok hybridizing Suvs/Family and Luxury Sedans....But a Mitsubishi Evo? Hell No! its like Making an Hybrid Lamborghini!...whats the point of having a V and a million engine with Thousands of Valves that can work at 9k RPM..if your car is now Heavier and Waaaay more dull?

      God!, when will they Understand that Instead of Turning these Fun Sports Cars into 1 speed electrics they should find alternative Fuels...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can some of this stuff just stop, please? Hold off for a while, until the technology is mature, if it is even viable to ever get to that point?

      Not every car under the sun needs to be electrically driven, while the technology still isn't ready for prime-time. Loading hundreds of pounds and thousands of dollars worth of electric hardware, and lithium batteries does not make everything automatically better.

      The last two paragraphs of the article actually show some insight as to why this might not be a good idea.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No technology will ever be ready for prime time unless someone takes the time and effort to develop it. It doesn't matter if that technology is for EVs or for non-melting ice cream. I agree it maybe shouldn't be Mitsubishi given their small size and financial situation. But if not them, who?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't need to guess that adding more complex equipment means adding mass, and thus weight. The laws of physics are not open to re-interpretation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually it just shows a bunch of conjecture and hype. Until we know more about the car we can only guess if it will be too heavy, too pricey and too difficult for Mitsubishi to sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, actually I have spoken against hyrid subarus for the same reason.

        Hybrids in GENERAL.

        BATTERIES WEIGH A LOT FOR THEIR ENERGY CAPACITANCE. And it still isn't as energy dense as a tank full of fuel.

        Take, for instance, the new ford Fusion... base car weight between 3285 and 3446lbs.

        The hybrid version weighs between 3720-3805lbs. 4-500lbs more.

        Materials technology is not going to take a giant step forward in the next short while from where it is, and what materials cost right now, to allow 4-500lbs of weight to be cut out of a car, and maintain it's size, strength and equipment levels, and negate the weight penalty of a hybrid drive system.

        Lancer is already an econobox. It is already built thin and small, and optioned UP to be an EVO. We are not talking about a heavy AMG Mercedes or anything, that 500 lbs can be cut out by removing three layers of sound insulation in the seats alone, or something like that...

        Plus, using the fusion regular S or SE to base Fusion hybrid as an analogy, it also adds 5-7000$ to the MSRP. EVO is already pushing critical mass at close to $40K for a spec'd up Lancer... do you think people will want to pay 45-50K for an EVO XI hybrid that weighs hundreds of pounds more?

        Even if you cut half the weight increase back, for only a 250lb net weight gain, by using aluminum or even carbon fiber... do you think that will make it more affordable again, or are we talking $50-55K, for still a heavier, more complex car than the current one.

        Frankly, I don't see the point. I think the EVO is doing just fine as is, aside from being hella-expensive. I think WRX STI is in the same position, albeit uglier, and still too expensive.

        Hybrid electric drive, plug in or not... isn't required. It is a cost up-front, and to maintain, and a weight penalty, with meager results, and hindered performance.

        Let premium efficiency cars (bucks-up econoboxes, basically) have their gimmick. Performance cars don't need it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ BoxerFanatic

        So basically adding weight to a current Evo is your conclusion of what this car will be like? To be blunt, that's dumb. I bet if the subject of this story were Subaru you would be willing to give the engineers the benefit of the doubt and believe there's more to this car then what current available technology will allow.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your anaylsis is great, when talking about a current hybrid - beyond that it is generally pointless - because it still doesn't necessarily apply to this car. We have no idea what level of hybridization this car will receive, nor what materials it will use, nor even if is a thought in Mitsubishis minds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this happens this would be the end of the Evo. The number of people who like the X dropped significantly from the XI because of the weight. If you add batteries to it and in turn even more weight, don't bother making it. This is getting ridiculous really.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone else remember when cars where built for enthusiasts and not focus groups with 3 week attention spans?

        • 5 Years Ago
        I do, and I lament the descent of the industry.
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