Mitsubishi AR Concept continues a wacky, wonderful tradition [w/video]

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Mitsubishi enjoys a long history of thinking outside the literal box when it comes to designing minivans and people movers. Remember the Mitsubishi Van, a.k.a. Delica? How about the Chariot, better known to us as the Colt Vista? The Expo and Expo LRV, the twin models that succeeded it? These were all left-of-center takes on the MPV genre, and while they never sold in large volumes, we can't help but look back at them with a mix of bemusement and respect for their oddball character. Who knows? A production version of this AR Concept could be next.

According to Mitsubishi, "the comfort of a minivan and active personality of an SUV are merged at the highest levels" in the Concept AR. Us? We just think this mild hybrid concept looks kind of neat, even if it's only putting on off-road airs with its elevated ride hight, faux skid plates and black-lipped wheel wells.

Hardware-wise, this Active Runabout is less showcar and more 'real world,' with the front wheels drawing their power from a 134-horsepower, 1.1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine paired with a 10-kW electric motor used as a belt starter generator (read: mild hybrid). A continuously variable transmission handles shifting duties.

At just over 171 inches long (a couple inches shorter than a Ford C-Max Hybrid), the AR Concept seats up to six people, with a reconfigurable passenger space accessed through conventional front-hinged doors offering second-row seating that can rotate to face the third row. It also features a whole host of connected car technology that includes a smartphone-sized touchscreen in the steering wheel.

Scroll down to see a video short of the Concept AR in action, along with the official press release.

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Mitsubishi Concept AR

The comfort of a minivan and active personality of an SUV are merged at the highest levels in the Mitsubishi Concept AR. Its lightweight mild hybrid system merges a compact 1.1-liter inline 3-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged MIVEC engine and belt starter generator to provide outstanding driving comfort from the get-go. The compact body houses curved spaciousness. You can share it with your friends or enjoy it in quiet solitude. An all-new pleasurable relationship between humans and vehicles is made possible by the freedom of flexible space and innovative Connected Car technology.

Experience the reliability and satisfaction of driving the Mitsubishi Concept AR.

The unpartitioned flexible interior provides a feeling of freedom and ample space for 6 occupants, or 4 occupants with luggage. You can even rotate all four seats to enjoy face-to-face fun. A wide open space gently surrounds occupants and provides refreshing comfort.

Whether traveling alone or with others, Connected Car technology enables freer use of space. All 4 occupants can enjoy sitting face-to-face around the interface on the center console or connecting with the outside world via interface available at each seat through the slit. Connected Car technology creates a new method of communication.


■Overall length / Overall width / Overall height (mm): 4350 / 1780 / 1690 ■Seating capacity: 6 ■Targeted fuel consumption: 24 km/L or more ■Engine type: 1.1-liter inline 3-cylinder direct-injection turbo-charged MIVEC engine / Max. output: 100 kW ■Fuel type: Gasoline ■Mild hybrid: Belt starter generator / Max. output: 10 kW (48V) ■Total battery electric power: 48V, 0.25 kWh ■Wheel drive: 2WD (FF) ■Transmission: CVT with sub transmission

Mitsubishi Information

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