Mitsubishi is bringing a new concept car to this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, and it’s already shaping up to be an exciting proposition. We got a teaser photo of the MI-TECH Concept today, and it looks like a short wheelbase convertible SUV. Not only that, but it’s also a two-seater. All this means it’s likely not anything close to what we’ll see in a production car, but the tech onboard is what really grabbed our attention.
It’s a plug-in hybrid, but it’s different than most you’ve seen before. There are four electric motors, two at each axle to provide the best four-wheel drive one could ask for. Then, instead of a traditional gasoline engine generator as a range extender, Mitsubishi is using a turbine engine generator. The Chrysler and GM turbine cars of the 1960s-70s were just ahead of their time, weren’t they? Mitsubishi says this allows the MI-TECH to drive like a series hybrid when the battery pack is depleted. The four-wheel drive system is supposed to provide fantastic performance offroad and also on tarmac, being able to precisely dole out the exact amount of torque to whatever wheel needs it at any given time.
Mitsubishi says the entire plug-in hybrid electric system is compact, so as to fit in a small SUV. Think Eclipse Cross or Outlander Sport size. The company already has a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the larger Outlander, but it wants to hybridize its smaller offerings one day, too. We don’t expect the turbine engine to make it into our hands, but this four-motor electric drive system would be sweet in a production car.
An augmented-reality windshield is the highlight on the interior of the MI-TECH. It is able to project a variety of information onto the windshield by using optical sensing technology. Hopefully Mitsubishi expands on that when it fully reveals the car in Tokyo. For now, we have the teaser, and it looks pretty neat. Mitsubishi, feel free to release a production version of a roofless, off-road, electrified SUV. We could use something fun in the lineup, as the Evo hole in our heart grows larger by the year.