Mitsubishi rolls out new Mirage alongside Concept PX-MiEV II for Tokyo

With the Tokyo Motor Show coming up around the bend, Japan's automakers are preparing to roll out their best. And Mitsubishi isn't about to sit idly by.

The Tri-Diamond automaker has two major world debuts planned for its home-market expo: one production vehicle and one concept. The former sees the return of the Mirage nameplate – most prominently used in the 1980s – in place of the Colt with a new entry-level model. The basic five-door hatchback packs an economical 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with stop/start and a continuously variable transmission that will hit the Thai market first when it launches in March 2012.

Joining the new Mirage on the Mitsubishi stage will be the Concept PX-MiEV II, a plug-in hybrid crossover that joins the i-MiEV electric car and the Minicab-MiEV light-duty commercial vehicle in the company's expanding portfolio of electric vehicles. A 2.0-liter four-banger is coupled to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors to drive all four wheels through the Lancer Evo's S-AWC traction system to deliver comparable power to a 3.0-liter V6 while offering improved emissions and fuel consumption figures.

In addition to the usual battery-only and internal combustion generator modes, the PX-MiEV II also enables outdoorsy types to run portable appliances off the vehicle's battery packs. There's plenty more to digest in the press release, so hit the jump to check it out, and scope out both the Mirage and the Concept PX-MiEV II in the pair of galleries for a closer look.
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Tokyo - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will be showing a total of 15 vehicles (12 on Press Day 1) at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention centre in Tokyo from November 30 through December 11 (open to the public from December 3). Two cars will make their world premiere at the show: the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II. They respectively embody two major pillars to the company's product strategy outlined in the 'JUMP 2013' mid-term business plan: global strategic models focused on emerging markets and models featuring "green technology." The Mitsubishi Mirage compact car embodies the global model strategy while the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II SUV features "green technology" with its unique plug-in hybrid drive-train.

Also at the Mitsubishi Motors stand will be the MINICAB-MiEV light commercial electric vehicle due to be released in the Japanese market in December this year and the i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle (EV) which is currently on sale in countries all over the world including European countries, and is to be rolled out in the United States by the end of this year. Alongside these will be the RVR compact SUV (ASX in the UK market) powered by a new MIVEC1 engine that incorporates MMC's Auto Stop & Go (AS&G) idle-stop technology, and the Pajero (Shogun the UK market) SUV powered by a "clean diesel" engine.

The Mitsubishi Motors stand will also feature the MiEV House, a concept of a "smart house" that tackles energy and global warming by managing energy usage between the home itself, "smart appliances," EVs/plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), and "smart grids" all at the same time through HEMS (Home Energy Management System) and MMC's own EIS (Electric Vehicle Integration System). HEMS makes life more comfortable for people living in homes installed with it by continually monitoring power available to power being used and optimising both so that effects of energy shortages and energy costs can be reduced. Connected to a "smart home" with HEMS, EIS constantly monitors EV/PHEV battery usage and efficiency (which varies on how the EV/PHEV is driven), feeds this information to HEMS, which then optimises charging from the house so that the EV/PHEV always has enough energy in it.

In addition to the MiEV House will be the MiEV Café, a relaxation space powered by the battery of an electric vehicle parked right beside it. The electric vehicle will power the MiEV Café through a new heavy-duty power supply device (also on display) that enables the supply of up to 1500W from EV and PHEV batteries. The heavy-duty power supply device is to go on sale in Japan within this fiscal year.

Outlines of World Premieres:

1) The Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mirage's2 design focused on compactness, affordability, and high fuel efficiency in order to fit the needs of emerging markets as an affordable entry-level model as well as needs of advanced markets for fuel efficiency and low-CO2 emission. In addition, the Mirage features good maneuverability and easy drivability inherent to a compact car while also providing a comfortable interior space for five adults.

MMC has targeted top-of-class fuel efficiency (Japan market version) of 30km per litre through a variety of measures including painstaking reduction in weight throughout almost every part of the car, reduction in rolling resistance and higher efficiency through detailed improvements to the engine, transmission, brakes and tyres, and an aerodynamic body that reduces air resistance and drag. The new Mirage is due to go on sale first in Thailand in March 2012.

Mitsubishi Mirage specifications

2) The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

MMC has been focusing its EV technology in the Japanese mini-car class. MMC became the first major automobile manufacturer to bring a mass-produced electric vehicle to market when it rolled out the Mitsubishi i-MiEV next-generation EV in 2009. The company will introduce its second mass-produced EV-the MINICAB-MiEV mini-car class light commercial EV in December this year. These models are very popular as city commuters where vehicles are used for transporting small groups of passengers over short distances in urban areas.

Not anymore. The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II is Mitsubishi Motors' idea for a mid-size plug-in hybrid PHEV model that offers a long cruising range demanded by mid-size (and larger) vehicles. The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II contains a state-of-the-art drive-train derived from MMC's already existing EV technology that delivers the environmental performance and quietness inherent to an EV in an SUV package that provides more comfortable motoring and allows for higher utility outside of a city commuter. The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV, with its high environmental performance and fuel efficiency, effectively extinguishes many negative perceptions of SUVs.

MMC's unique plug-in hybrid system fuses EV technology derived from the Mitsubishi i-MiEV with a small conventional engine that features MMC's latest fuel and environmental efficiency technologies. This combination provides not only a combined fuel efficiency3 of more than 60km per litre, far superior than that of a conventional engine-driven car, but also very high levels of environmental performance while maintaining a cruising range on a par with conventional engine-driven vehicles (over 800 km).

MMC's plug-in hybrid system uses high-capacity batteries that allow the vehicle to cover over 50 km in all-electric mode alone, allowing it to be driven solely as an EV for most everyday situations. Depending on power consumption and remaining battery charge the system will start the engine automatically as a generator, and the engine can also be used to help drive the wheelsnecessary. In addition, with the push of a button, the driver has the freedom to select Battery Drive Mode when he/she wishes to drive quietly and emissions-free (at sufficient battery levels) in residential areas or the countryside using pure EV power. At the same time, the driver can also switch to Battery Charge Mode while on the move, controlling use of battery power and using the engine as a generator to charge the batteries.

A socket fitted to the vehicle allows the electricity stored in the drive batteries to be used to power electric appliances when camping or in other outdoor pursuits, or to provide an emergency power source. In addition, the quick-charge port is vehicle-to-home (V2H) compatible.

Another feature of the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II apart from its outstanding environmental performance is its drive-train which uses a newly developed twin-motor four-wheel-drive system mated to Mitsubishi's S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) advanced traction control system. Based on the four-wheel-drive technology developed and honed in the Lancer Evolution X models, S-AWC delivers pure driving pleasure by maneuvering effortlessly to the driver's will while maintaining high levels of stability and safety. In addition to superior handling, the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEVⅡprovides 100% instant off-the-line torque inherent to electric motors, giving it acceleration comparable to that of a 3.0-litre V6 engine. The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEVⅡ takes environmentally-friendly vehicles to a new level with its unique blend of fuel and environmental efficiency, performance, and utility.

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