Mitsubishi launches, prices 2018 Outlander PHEV for U.S.

At long last, Europe's best-selling plug-in hybrid comes to America.

  • Image Credit: Mitsubishi
We've been waiting on this one a long time.

Mitsubishi has been selling the plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander crossover for a while now, just not here in the U.S. It has seen popularity overseas, though, and is Europe's best-selling plug-in hybrid. It surpassed the 100,000 sales mark back in early 2016, thanks to Europe and Japan. Now, Mitsubishi is looking to electrify our shores, and will bring the all-new Outlander PHEV to the U.S. by the end of the year.

The Outlander PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter engine and two 60-kW electric motors, one situated at each axle, for a total estimated output of 195 horsepower. That makes it all-wheel-drive as well, using Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system borrowed from the Lancer Evolution, and it has already proven itself in off-road competition. A 300-volt, 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located in the subfloor between the front and rear axles. It can be charged via plug (including DC fast-charging capability), or via the car's regenerative braking system (adjustable using paddle shifters).

The vehicle features three different, automatically selected drive modes. EV Drive Mode makes use of the electric motors for all-electric driving. Parallel Hybrid Mode uses the gas engine to drive the front wheels, and provides added power from the electric motors as necessary (mainly at high speeds, where this mode is the most efficient). Series Hybrid Mode uses the gasoline engine as a generator to charge the battery and provide power to the electric motors, which are doing the propulsion work.

There are also three driver-selected modes. Eco Mode reduces fuel and electricity consumption. Battery Save Mode conserves charge, operating in hybrid mode. Battery Charge Mode keeps the engine running to generate electricity and recharge the battery pack to make sure you'll have power for driving uphill or towing, for instance.

EV driving range and fuel economy figures will be released soon, but Mitsubishi says it expects to exceed the premium competition (which offer about 14 miles of EV range).

The Outlander PHEV is also big on technology. It offers a suite of safety systems, including blind spot and lane departure warnings, multi-view camera, adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, and forward collision mitigation. The vehicle offers a smartphone app that allows the owner to remotely control the charging schedule, climate control, lighting, vehicle settings, and monitor vehicle status. Finally, the Outlander PHEV also serves as a mobile power source, offering two 120-volt AC power outlets in the rear seat and cargo area. This means it can power tools, camping equipment or even appliances for tailgating.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will arrive at U.S. dealerships this December, with a starting MSRP of $35,535. It comes with a transferable 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty as well as a transferable 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on the PHEV powertrain (including the lithium-ion battery pack). We've got a drive review coming very soon, so stay tuned to Autoblog for more.

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