We've been waiting since the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show – when Mitsubishi first talked about the PX-MiEV, a plug-in CUV concept – for some sort of real-world plug-in Outlander. It looks like we're finally going to get our wish during the 2012 Paris Motor Show this fall. Today, Mitsubishi released the not-very-revealing teaser image you see above, and it says the plug-in Outlander will "share its architecture with the soon-to-be-introduced New Outlander's ICE versions." Mitsubishi also claims the Outlander will "be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production."

The New Outlander PHEV will have three drive modes, all of which are 4WD: Pure (all-electric drive), Series (electric drive, supported by the gas generator) and Parallel (ICE engine supported by Twin Motor 4WD). Mitsubishi says the New Outlander PHEV will have a total driving range of 800 km (497 miles) and emit fewer than 50 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

As previously noted, the PHEV version of the Outlander should arrive in the spring of 2013. Given the coming pack of plug-in crossovers (see: Tesla Model X, Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and Amp's offerings), if Mitsubishi can get the cost comparatively low, the way the i is compared to the Nissan Leaf, without making it quite as spartan, this thing could carve out a niche for itself. For the moment, though, it sounds like Mitsubishi is only going to sell the new Outlander PHEV in Europe.

*UPDATE: As DaveMart points out in the comments, Mitsubishi reps have told Inside Line that the plug-in Outlander will come to the U.S. in late 2013 or early 2014.
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MITSUBISHI MOTORS AT 2012 PARIS MOTORSHOW - NEW OUTLANDER PLUG-IN HYBRID EV WORLD PREMIERE

CIRENCESTER, UK - At the forthcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show[1] ("Mondial de l'Automobile"), Mitsubishi Motors will continue to roll out its ambitious, global and green new product generation with a series of significant premieres. Highlight of this offensive will be the world introduction of the all-new Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV.

New Frontier
Neither a mere adaptation of an existing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – powered vehicle, nor a dedicated Plug-in Hybrid technology showcase, the New Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV (or "PHEV") will share its architecture with the soon-to-be-introduced New Outlander's ICE versions – an engineering feat in itself.

As such, it will be the first mainstream car from a major manufacturer envisaged from the outset with built-in provisions for either ICE or PHEV power trains.

Plug-in Hybrid EV
Adding to its credentials, the New Outlander PHEV will further distinguish itself:

Mitsubishi Motors' first Plug-in Hybrid car, it will be an EV-based vehicle, relying on MMC's extensive EV and electronic know-how, supplemented by a petrol engine when needed – a solution more suited to global markets than Diesel.
Making the best use of Mitsubishi's renowned 4-Wheel-Drive expertise, it will also be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production.

Long haul
The New Outlander PHEV unique drive train combination of front electric motor + rear electric motor + front traction/generator petrol engine will translate into a choice of three driving modes:
  • Pure (Twin Motor 4WD EV)
  • Series (Twin Motor 4WD - EV supported by generator)
  • Parallel (ICE engine supported by Twin Motor 4WD).
When fitted to the New Outlander, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid system will allow for a long haul range and very low emissions similar to that of the Concept PX-MiEV II show car, i.e. a driving distance of over 800 km and a CO2 target below 50 g/km.

Further...
Whilst the New Outlander ICE will start its commercial career in Western & Eastern Europe in the fall of 2012, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV will be retailed in Europe during the course of 2013.

Complementing this New Outlander family, Mitsubishi Motors will stage further premieres at the Paris Motor Show, aimed at a European audience and to be detailed at a later stage...


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