i-MiEV doesn't survive Mitsubishi's updated EV plan

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Mitsubishi will increase the number of electrified models in its lineup through the end of the decade, but the company's focus on crossovers will mean the axe for the aging i-MiEV. The flurry of new or updated models will begin arriving as soon as next year, and the automaker will offer nearly all of them in plug-in hybrid or electric versions, according to Automotive News.

Rather than dedicated EVs like the i-MiEV, Mitsubishi will instead offer gasoline and electrified variants of a future lineup with three sizes of crossovers. The company will follow the current trend of coupe-like CUVs with its own version, including a plug-in hybrid option, between the Outlander Sport and Outlander sometime after the autumn of 2017, Automotive News reports. A new Outlander with a PHEV model will come after 2017, and a next-gen Outlander Sport with an EV trim will arrive around 2019. There won't be a Lancer replacement.

"We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the US market," Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko said to Automotive News.

Mitsubishi already offered a preview of its next-gen CUV design language with the eX Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The compact crossover evolved the styling of the refreshed Outlander's X-shape grille, and it featured a floating roof that created the appearance of a wraparound greenhouse. Power came from an electric motor at the front and rear axle and a 45-kWh lithium-ion battery.

In the nearer term, the wait for the Outlander PHEV will finally end because the long-delayed plug-in crossover will launch in the US around the middle of next year. Earlier rumors suggested a possible arrival around April 2016, but the vehicle was previously reported to come here as early as the fall of 2014.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Information

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