Thanks to a production stoppage caused by battery issues and high demand from Japan and Europe, the US will just have to wait its turn to get the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. That's the news from Green Car Reports, which spoke to Bryan Arnett, senior manager of product strategy for Mitsubishi Motors North America, and learned that "a year from now" is the earliest that the plug-in hybrid SUV could reach our shores. That still fits into the original timeline for US sales, which were only promised as following the Japan launch in 2013.

The SUV did indeed launch in its home country earlier this year, but production was halted in March when a melted battery alerted the company to a problem in the 12-kWh pack (sourced from Mitsubishi's JV with GS Yuasa, Lithium Energy Japan). Turns out, the batteries were short circuiting due to a now-discontinued screening process that infected the batteries with contaminants.

When everything works, the battery can move the Outlander PHEV up to 34 miles on battery power and achieve roughly 143 MPGe, according to number issued when the car was unveiled in Paris in 2012. The powertrain also features two electric motors that independently power the two axles and a gasoline engine that can either be used as a generator for the motors or to just power the wheels directly. The company is making up to 4,000 units a month to supply the global demand, which we imagine is high since there are limited options when it comes to large plug-in vehicles. The RAV4 EV is one alternative, if you live in the right place. Same with the BMW x5 PHEV, when that launches. The Tesla Model X isn't out yet, but it could arrive on the US scene at about the same time at the Outlander. We expect the Outlander to be priced lower than the base Model X, but Arnett told GCR that figuring out the MSRP is "a huge discussion right now."


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  • 20 Comments
      Tes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Explained for stupid: The car will come as 2015 model in the Fall 2014 when Mitsubishi usually brings new models
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Ford Australia had produced a vehicle like this, Ford would still be a viable manufacturer in Australia. I look Ford to test driving the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV when it goes on sale in Australia. Australian Mitsubishi Outlander's have experienced an unresolved percentage of CVT overheating defects, but this maybe resolved with the new model.
      Bryan Lund
      • 1 Day Ago
      Mitsubishi designs and produces fine cars for the masses. Yet Americans continue to knock and deride everything they do. I have a '08 Lancer GTS that is built well and has always performs well. I am totally in with Mitsubishi and would not hesitate to buy another. The Outlander PHEV will run well and run right and deliver to those who buy it. I am definitely an interested party in this new SUV.
      Simul Taneous
      • 1 Year Ago
      The PHEV will have significant trouble getting up a steep grade if there is no charge left in the battery and it has to run only on the 2.0L engine. Remember, it was supposed to be a 1.6L, and that couldn't make it at all. And with the price of the Chevy Volt being drastically cut, the Mitsu Japanese management I'm sure are in a tizzy as they now really will have to keep it under $40k if they ever hope to get more than a few employees in the car.
        Bradford
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Simul Taneous
        Considering that the regular Outlander starts under $23k, it ought to be easily under $40k. If they expect people to pay an extra $17k for the PHEV version, they're gonna have a bad time. I'm not saying it is or isn't worth it; it's just a hard sale.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Simul Taneous
        The battery can't discharge completely. The car is designed to keep at least 7 miles worth of charge left in the battery at all times, which in practice means that the petrol engine will kick in earlier into either serial or parallell hybrid mode when the charge is low. Or if you step on the gas for more power ful acceleration. An overtake for example. This means that the car will NEVER run only on petrol. You will always have 285bhp accessible so you won't have any troubles with power. I drove the car recently and yes, it has its shortcomings in the cabin, like a bit flat seats and some lower trim quality. But those things is far outweighed by the tremendous powertrain! This is the whole selling point.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's got great technology. I hope they can deliver a great price. This could be a home run for the company at the right price.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @CoolWaters
        @ CoolWaters Yea, way to go ! Finally, a sensible comment we can both agree upon ! Well said !
      PaulBAZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is true that the car will leave you unimpressed. What will impress is the excessive cost of maintenance. Why would anybody want to buy such a poorly engineered car from Mitsubishi? They are not serviceable except at the dealer. They deliberately design in the need for special tools to remove components. Things like heater cores removal require the entire interior to be removed to get the part out. The dash board falls apart and then the dealer wants $2300 for parts and labor to repair. Point is – the vehicle is beyond economical repair. Maybe most people have already figured this out and that is why Mitsubishi sales are in the toilet. Don’t buy any Mitsubishi product until they improve their engineering practices. Last person out – turn out the lights. RIP Mitsubishi.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @PaulBAZ
        I'll assume you mean the cost to repair *after* the 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
      transpower
      • 1 Year Ago
      Unfortunately Consumer Reports has given the non-plug-in version a pathetic road test score of 57. That totally kills it for me. I'm waiting for the Porsche Macan -S -E Hybrid.
        Mitsuman
        • 1 Day Ago
        @transpower
        to bad consumer reports is the worst automotive reviewer in the history of forever. You must not be a car person if you base your opinions on someone else's and not your experiences!
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      And another site is quoting Mitsubishi's Amanda Savercool as saying no Outlander PHEV for the US now until 2015. Sounds like Mitsu needs to get the messaging straight internally before they bring it to us.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      The demand IS high, we don't have to imagine anything. That is why they are absorbing all they can make in Japan and the early European markets, even with Mitsubishi turning out 4,000 a month. German prices are Euros 41,990 and 49,990 for the two trim levels. http://www.insideoutlander.com/posts/2013iaaiimsoutlanderphevspecialcoverage At $1,34 to the Euro, that is $56,266 and $66,986 Less 20% VAT leaves $45k and $53.5k There is no subsidy in Germany. I am not sure how much subsidy a 12kwh battery pack would qualify for in the US
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @DaveMart
        AM: GM produce the Volt in the States, which is cheaper, and that is how they have managed to reduce the price to the current level, plus they qualify for the full subsidy.. I don't see how Mitsubishi will be able to knock $9k off their price as you indicate, and in the US I think that they will have to settle for selling at a premium to the Volt, which is not unreasonable for a small SUV with substantially more accomodation.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yes, the Volt is cheaper here than elsewhere, but I don't think that's because its made in the USA. Even imports are cheaper here than elsewhere, so I think it has more to do with duties, taxes, and higher cost of business. I have no idea what's possible, I'm just stating their goal was to keep the Outlander PHEV priced below the Volt. Maybe they can't do that in the US. Clearly supply cannot keep up with demand anyway, so they might as well charge more while they can.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @DaveMart
        "I am not sure how much subsidy a 12kwh battery pack would qualify for in the US" I think $5836. Here's my math: $2500 base credit for the vehicle itself. + $417 "for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a bettery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity" = $2917 +$417x(12-5) "additional $417 for each kilowatt hour in excess of 5" = $5836
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @DaveMart
        Mitsubishi's intent is to sell the base model PHEV for less than the Volt. I haven't followed pricing in every single market, but I know they stuck to that goal in the first few markets. So with the volt at $39,000 in the US, I'm thinking the base model will be a $36k vehicle. With an almost $6000 tax credit, we're talking just over $30k.
      Jazzor
      • 1 Year Ago
      They need to hurry the hell up before Tesla steals their thunder with the X... justsayin'
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