Back in 1917, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. made its foray into the automotive world with the Model A. It had a production run of just 22 units, but it was enough to make Mitsubishi Motors possible as a car company. Now, 100 years later, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) is revisiting its roots, but with a contemporary touch, by re-creating the car with the help of West Coast Customs. The California-based shop will build a Mitsu Model A with its original, century-old looks, but with a modern, advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain and a host of current technology.

The custom Model A will celebrate a century of Mitsubishi by building the Model A on the Outlander PHEV platform. Despite its 21st-century capabilities, the centennial celebration vehicle "will feature all the distinctive aspects of the 1917 vehicle," according to MMNA Senior Director of Marketing Francine Harsini. The original Model A was powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 35 horsepower. The Outlander PHEV, upon which the new Model A will be based, uses a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors providing power to all four wheels.

West Coast Customs will build the plug-in Mitsubishi Model A at its facility in Burbank, Calif., with plans to finish it this summer. An episode of the Inside West Coast Customs show on the Velocity channel will feature the build of the centennial Model A.

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