Mitsubishi is very proud of its all-new, third-generation Outlander. Why? Because the carmaker engineered the new crossover to not only be a traditional internal-combustion-powered vehicle, but also one ready to integrate plug-in hybrid drivetrain components.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV utilizes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to two 60-kWh electric motors (one on each axle). Power for the electric motors comes from a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which the automaker says can be fully charged in four hours on a 240-volt charger. That gives the Outlander an all-electric range of about 34 miles and a total range of 547 miles once the gas engine kicks in. Top electric-only speed is estimated to be around 75 mph.
Thanks to the two electric motors, the Outlander PHEV can operate as an all-wheel drive electric; it can also have the gas engine power the front wheels or a combination between gas and electric power. Mitsubishi also says that the PHEV has a better weight distribution (55/45 percent front/rear) and a lower center of gravity than the purely internal-combustion Outlander, begetting better handling.
Aesthetically, the Outlander PHEV differs little from the regular model. Around back, there are clear LED taillights, and the cabin sees a revised steering wheel and a shift lever reminiscent of that found in Toyota's hybrids.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV goes on sale next year in Japan first, followed by Europe, and then other yet-to-be-specified markets. Click here for more coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor Show from Automobile Magazine.