Mitsubishi may be plunging headfirst into the electric vehicle segment, but it hasn’t completely forgotten about hybrids. For the 2009 Tokyo motor show, the Japanese automaker is showing off its new PX-MiEV plug-in hybrid crossover concept.
Looking much like a butch Outlander, the PX-MiEV is perhaps more notable for what lies underneath its five-door bodyshell. Mitsubishi has equipped the concept with its S-AWC all-wheel-drive system (you’ll find a similar setup in the Lancer Evolution), but uses two electric motors -- one at each axle -- for power. The PX-MiEV has an approximately 30-mile range in EV mode, but a 1.6-liter I-4 can serve as a generator for longer trips. If those journeys also require higher speeds or passing maneuvers, the four-banger can directly power the front wheels -- something that can’t be said for the Chevrolet Volt.
<;P class=MsoNormal>The PX-MiEV can be charged using either a 120- or 240-volt supply at home, or by a high-voltage quick charger Mitsubishi is tinkering with as part of its i-MiEV program. If the owner’s home is equipped with a smart grid power system, Mitsubishi envisions the car’s battery packs can be used as an auxiliary power source in case of a power outage.
<;P class=MsoNormal>Inside, designers were reportedly inspired by an airplane cockpit, but the gauge cluster, center stack, and the rear seat entertainment device all appear to be ripped from the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mitsubishi’s gifted the driver with a host of safety systems, including an around-view monitor (similar to the system in the Infiniti EX), electronic toll payment, and a proximity warning utilizing vehicle-to-vehicle communication.