To start, the PHEV's battery capacity increases from 12 kWh to 13.8 kWh. That boosts its all-electric driving range from 37.8 miles to 40.4 (under Japan's testing cycle). The rear electric motor/generator also gets a slight boost in power. The gas engine increases its displacement from 2.0 to 2.4 liters. The vehicle now offers Sport and Snow modes, and its 4WD Lock mode has been adjusted to better handle poor road surfaces.
To improve its ride and handling, Mitsubishi added larger front and rear dampers with a new type of damper valve to the Outlander PHEV. A faster steering ratio and retuned electric power steering control promise better steering feel and response. Mitsubishi has also increased the structural rigidity in parts of the body.
Design-wise, the updated Outlander PHEV gets full LED headlights and an updated grille up front. In the rear, there's a new spoiler that improves aerodynamics and gives it a sportier look. Inside, the leather seating gets a new diamond-quilt pattern, along with the door trim. The front seats are also reshaped for more support.
The new updates seem like they'll make the Outlander PHEV even more attractive both in terms of performance and design. We doubt that Mitsubishi would choose not offer these improvements in other markets, including the U.S. We've reached out to Mitsubishi to see if and when we can hope to see the improved versions stateside, and we'll update if we hear back.