Mitsubishi - Overview of All-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid CONCEPTS

Written By: EightySix

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

Mitsubishi Electric Concepts Seek to Purge the i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi made a splash on the electric car market in 2009 by releasing the i-MiEV in Japan. It was the first modern electric economy car. The 2014 version was available in the United States for under $20,000 after government tax credits.

The car became known for its tiny stance, timid highway performance, short range and cordless-mouse styling. Mitsubishi was hoping for a reputation for practicality and economy.

The automaker that brought us the Eclipse and the Lancer Evolution is not going out like that. Its R&D department sports a bold and futuristic collection of concept vehicles. Both MiEV models (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) and PHEV models (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) are in the works. From what they've shown at their website and auto shows, Mistubishi is trying to shrug off the econo-mouse fuzz left behind by the i-MiEV.

Vehicles inspired by the following concepts may be sparkling at  Mitsubishi dealerships in the not so distant future:

CA-MiEV (Concept)

Mitsubishi CA-MiEV Concept

This car has been revealed as the replacement for the i-MiEV. It has a stronger battery pack (28 kilowatts compared to 16), more power (107 horsepower to 66) and a longer range (186 miles to 62) than its predecessor. The body design is inspired by the facets of a cut diamond, rather than being based on Elroy Jetson's lunch box.

The wheelbase is 110.4, just like the i-MiEV, but it is 7.5 inches wider. The little mouse always had a fair amount of headroom and a surprising amount of cabin space, but in the new CA shoulders and elbows should not clash so much.

The CA will include some advanced safety technologies including Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control and Forward Collision Mitigation. If its price, like that of the i-MiEV, is near the bottom of the class, owners may finally get an efficient car they also want to be seen driving.

PX MiEV (Concept)

Mitsubishi PX MiEv Concept

This crossover utility vehicle generates power with a 114 horsepower 1.6 liter gasoline engine to supply a pair of 30 kilowatt electric motors, one for each axle. The three power plants will work as a unit, depending on demand and driving conditions.

In a normal situation, the PX will operate in all-electric mode using only the front motor. If the traction-control system detects slippery conditions, power is supplied as necessary to the rear wheels with the second motor. The gasoline engine can be used as a range extender to charge the batteries or to give extra power to the wheels.

The wagon-like styling calls to mind a futuristic Montero. The PX can seat five and haul a small family's gear. Mitsubishi claims a potential 117 MPGe rating.

XR-PHEV (Concept)

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Concept

The XR is Mitsubishi's next incarnation of the Outlander. It's a nimble compact SUV capable of a combined 294 horsepower. 134 hp will come from a turbo-charged 1.1 liter 3-cylinder MIVEC gas engine. The rest will come from a 120 kilowatt electric motor supplied by a 14kWH battery. Mitsubishi expects an all-electric range of 53 miles and a hybrid economy of 65 MPG.

It's an aggressive wedge of an SUV reminiscent of a Land Rover Evoque. It features Mitsubishi's suite of "Connected Car" systems, including various danger detectors and a malfunction early-detection system that alerts the driver when the car needs repairs and maintenance.

GC-PHEV (Concept)

                                   Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

And then comes the big boy. The GC is aimed to satiate the appetites of American full-sized SUV drivers. The front-mounted 335 horsepower 3.0 liter supercharged MIVEC V6 is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 70 kilowatt electric motor with a 12kWH battery is also part of the power-train. It should achieve about 35 miles to the gallon. Not bad for a big family battle wagon.

The GC appears to be hewn from one solid block of moon rock. The front doors open forward and the rear open to the back, revealing the absence of a center pillar. The interior is futuristic to Star Fleet standards. The four bucket seats swivel to face a center "tactical table" which probably features the holographic game Chewbacca and C3PO were playing on the Millennium Falcon.

MiEV Evolution II (Concept)

Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II Concept

If the i-MiEV made you forget that Mitsubishi can do performance, witness their all-electric Pike's Peak Hill Climber. With forward and rear electric engines, and Super All-Wheel Control, it dominated the electric class. Mitsubishi uses feedback from this racer to improve the performance of its less radical MiEV models.