Better late than never, the saying goes, and when it comes to the US debut of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, the key words are "better" and "late." The crossover's debut in the US has already been the subject of a number of delays, and it is will once again having its stateside debut pushed back by a few months, according to Green Car Reports. Instead of a springtime arrival, we're now looking at late summer.
We already know that the first US Outlander is an updated model compared to the one currently sold in Europe and Japan, but the Japanese automaker is apparently still tweaking the model to make it better suited for US driving. That means an improved interior and better sound insulation for what will be the 2017 model-year Outlander PHEV, and will likely involve better performance for both drivetrain power and fuel efficiency.
"We decided to bring in the Outlander PHEV along with the 2017 Outlander launch," Mitsubishi spokesman Alex Fedorak wrote in an e-mail to Autoblog. "Doing so will allow us to better equip the vehicle for the US market."
We doubt major changes are in store, so it still looks like the plug-in Outlander will pair a 2.0-liter gas engine with two electric motors. The crossover PHEV can go about 32 miles on electricity alone, at least, it can on the more lenient European driving cycle.
The Outlander PHEV was first slated for a 2014 US debut, but that was pushed back to 2015 because of a battery shortage. More recently, Mitsubishi said this past January that the US debut would take place in April 2016.
Overseas, the model continues to make headway when it comes to global market share of plug-in vehicles. Through November, Mitsubishi moved more than 36,000 units of the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid worldwide. That puts it third among plug-in vehicles, trailing only the sales of the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, according to EV Sales.