2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - Live on display at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander is just around the corner, at least in Japan. There, the first plug-in hybrid crossover will go on sale January 24 with an MSRP of between 3,324,000 and 4,297,000 yen (between US$38,800 and $50,200), including Japan's consumption tax. After government incentives, the CUV can be had for the equivalent of around $33,000. While prices are not accurately comparable across borders, the only other plug-in vehicle of similar size, the Toyota RAV4 EV, starts at $49,800, and qualifies for a federal incentive of up to $7,500.

Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can go around up to 37 miles on battery power alone thanks to a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and gets something like 67 km/liter (roughly 157 miles per gallon equivalent) when measured on the Japanese JC08 mode. The CUV uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC gas engine and gets 18.6 km/l (44 mpg) when operating as a normal hybrid. There are more details in the press release below.

The vehicle has three drive modes. EV Drive Mode (aka pure electric), Series Hybrid Mode (where the gas engine acts like a generator for the motors), Parallel Hybrid Mode (used at high speeds, where the engine does most of the work moving the CUV, with some assist from the motors). There are also Battery Charge and Battery Save modes. Battery Charge mode is odd in that you can use gasoline to charge the battery, in case coal-powered electricity isn't dirty enough for you.

We first saw the plug-in version of the Outlander at this year's Paris Motor Show. After the Japanese launch, the plug-in Outlander will become available in Europe and North America.
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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's New Outlander PHEV

Plug-in Hybrid EV to Go on Sale in Japan

- The world's first plug-in hybrid SUV provides an all-in-one EV/4WD/SUV experience -

TOKYO, December 26, 2012 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that the new Outlander PHEV will go on sale at dealerships throughout Japan from January 24, 2013. Powered by the Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain derived from MMC's lineup of electric vehicles (EVs), the Outlander PHEV will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of ¥3,324,000 - ¥4,297,000 (including consumption tax). The Outlander PHEV qualifies for Japan's "eco-car" tax incentives*1 and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Subsidies for measures designed to promote introduction of clean energy vehicles" (maximum ¥430,000)*2, making the actual cost to the customer as low as ¥2,894,000.

*1: Japanese automobile acquisition tax and motor vehicle tonnage tax exemptions.

*2: For fiscal 2012, intending owners are eligible to receive a maximum subsidy of ¥430,000 on approval of an application submitted to the Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Center. However, this maximum can increase to ¥460,000 for Outlander PHEVs fitted with a quick-charging function (factory option).

World's first is a combination state-of-the-art technologies

The world's first plug-in hybrid SUV, the Outlander PHEV represents a fusion of the EV technologies developed by MMC for models such as the i-MiEV, 4WD technologies honed in the Lancer Evolution, and SUV know-how gained from the Pajero (Montero or Shogun in some countries). The result is a groundbreaking new model that brings together the superior environmental performance and quietness of an EV, the stability and handling of a 4WD, and the practicality of an SUV, so that the driver can enjoy the benefits of:

Environmentally-friendly all-electric operation for everyday use and mainly motor-powered hybrid operation for longer journey

Outstanding motive performance from its Twin Motor 4WD System

Unique functionality made possible by the high-capacity battery, including 100V AC power supply capable of delivering up to 1,500W of electricity*3 as an external power source and Battery Charge Mode which allows the battery to be charged by the engine either when stationary or on the move

*3. 100V AC power supply (1,500 W) is available as a factory option.

Outlander PHEV G Premium Package

The Outlander PHEV will be available in five trim levels: the base G, the G Safety Package fitted with MMC's "e-Assist" (Japan-market name) advanced safety technology system, the G Navi Package, which comes with on-board navigation and other features, the G Premium Package, which features a RockfordFosgate® Premium Sound System and leather-upholstered seats for extra comfort, and the built-to-order E.

MMC has made state-of-the-art safety technology more accessible for anyone who wants the Outlander PHEV. The acclaimed e-Assist advanced safety technology package - now installed in over 80% of new Outlander models in Japan - is available as standard equipment from the trim level of G Safety Package and higher, for a difference of as low as just ¥95,000 over the base G.

1. Main Features

(1) Three drive modes for optimal fuel efficiency. Environmentally-friendly all-electric operation for everyday use and mainly motor-powered hybrid operation for longer journey.

The Outlander PHEV's unique combination of electric motors and gasoline engine give it amazing flexibility in optimizing fuel efficiency and environmental performance while providing a long cruising range. For example, on electric power only, the Outlander PHEV has a cruising range of 60.2 km (measured via Japan's JC08 mode*4), enabling it to function entirely as an EV in most everyday situations*5. It also has a total cruising range on a par with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles (897 km at JC08 mode), making it perfectly suited for uses traditionally associated with SUVs, such as long-distance travel and outdoor and leisure activities.

The optimum drive mode for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving is automatically selected depending on driving conditions and remaining battery charge. Gasoline consumption is minimized by actively utilizing electric power, keeping the gasoline engine in its most efficient range, and by recovering energy during deceleration via regenerative braking. This results in a plug-in hybrid fuel efficiency (combined fuel efficiency)*6 of 67.0 km/l and hybrid fuel efficiency of 18.6 km/l (both JC08 mode).

*4: An official method of measuring fuel consumption introduced by the Japanese government.

*5: "Most everyday situations" is based on a JCAP (Japan Clean Air Program) study conducted in Japan which showed that on average; almost 90% of Japanese drivers drove less than 60km per day.

*6: Representative fuel efficiency figure based on a combination of the vehicle's fuel consumption when driven in all-electric mode, called the plug-in fuel efficiency, and when driven in hybrid mode, called the hybrid fuel efficiency (measured via Japan's JC08 mode) using the plug-in mode contribution rating (utility factor).

The three drive modes:

1) EV Drive Mode

EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery. With zero on-road gasoline consumption and zero CO2 emissions the driver can enjoy quiet and very eco-friendly performance in this mode.

2) Series Hybrid Mode

In Series Hybrid Mode the gasoline engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient such as a slope.

3) Parallel Hybrid Mode

The system switches to Parallel Hybrid Mode when the vehicle reaches high speeds. In this mode the high-efficiency gasoline engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required, such as when more powerful performance is required to accelerate or climb a slope.

(2) Twin Motor 4WD System Provides Superior Response

The pairing of the all-new Twin Motor 4WD with MMC's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system delivers greater stability, ensuring the vehicle behaves just as the driver intends and assisting safe, comfortable driving under a range of road conditions.

As an inherent characteristic of electric motors, they generate high torque instantly; giving acceleration comparable to that of a vehicle powered by a large displacement high-output ICE and allowing Outlander PHEV to deliver superior levels of environmental and driving performance.

(3) High-capacity Drive Battery Offers Driving Versatility

The 100V AC power supply (1,500 W) can produce up to 1,500W of 100V alternating current from dual interior outlets to power all kinds of appliances for outdoor leisure use and in emergencies. These can provide roughly one day's worth of power for ordinary home appliances*7 and up to around 10 days' worth when power generation by the engine is factored in*7 (factory option on all except E models).

The battery can be switched to Battery Charge Mode, which allows electricity to be generated by the engine and stored when stationary or on the move (giving 80% charge in approximately 40 minutes when stationary) and Battery Save Mode, which maintains charge while driving. Stored electricity can be used in EV Drive Mode at the destination or used to power appliances.

*7: In-house estimates.

2. Plug-in Hybrid EV System

The Plug-in Hybrid EV System was developed based on the EV technologies used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV for use in mid-size and larger passenger cars that require longer cruising ranges. Key components such as the battery and motor are constantly monitored, and integrated control is maintained over the engine, Twin Motor 4WD, regenerative brakes, air conditioning, and so on to ensure safe, comfortable, and fuel efficient driving.

(1) Features

A) Drive Battery

The drive battery is a high-capacity lithium-ion battery developed for the PHEV System based on the technology used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV (16.0 kWh models). It consists of 80 cells mounted in series housed in a battery pack enclosed in a secure frame, and has a total voltage of 300V and total storage capacity of 12.0 kWh.

B) Motors

Smaller, lighter, higher output versions of the permanent magnet synchronous motors used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV are located front and rear. These have a maximum output of 60 kW each and maximum torques of 137 N・m (front) and 195 N・m (rear), and deliver high torque and power from takeoff.

C) Engine

The 4B11 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine functions solely to generate electricity in Series Hybrid Mode and is mainly used to provide motive power in Parallel Hybrid Mode. It is fitted with MMC's MIVEC*8 technology, which keeps the engine in optimal efficiency ranges by continuously varying the timing of the air intake valves according to engine speed in Parallel Hybrid Mode. Additionally, exhaust noise has been reduced and the engine room soundproofing increased in order to ensure the vehicle remains as quiet as EV Drive Mode, even when the engine is in use.

*8 Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system

D) Generator

In Series/Parallel Hybrid Mode and in Battery Charge/Save Mode, the generator generates electricity through motive power from the engine to store into the drive battery.

E) Transaxles

Taking advantage of the fact that electric motors require no complex transmission mechanisms, the front and rear transaxles incorporate simple single-speed fixed reduction gears for smoother travel free from "shift shock." The front transaxle also has a built-in clutch that switches the system to Parallel Drive Mode mainly for engine-powered travel at high speeds.

F) Twin Motor 4WD

Leveraging its proven expertise in 4WD control technology, MMC has developed a new Twin Motor 4WD system that delivers power independently to the front wheels (from the front motor and/or engine) and rear wheels (from the rear motor). The use of motors and absence of mechanical connections such as a propeller shaft mean the Twin Motor 4WD delivers better response and finer control than conventional 4WD systems and reduces friction loss.

Twin Motor 4WD is coupled with MMC's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system, which combines front- and rear-wheel drive control and left and right wheel brake control to provide consistent handling and unbeatable stability on the road. Two modes are offered, selectable at the flick of a switch: Normal Mode for ordinary conditions and Lock Mode for enhanced all-terrain performance.

G) Regenerative braking

During deceleration, the motors function as generators so that electricity can be generated to charge the drive battery. The regenerative braking can be increased when the brake pedal is pressed. The strength of regenerative braking is adjustable using the selector lever, which has three strength settings, and a paddle selector on the steering wheel (standard on all trim levels except E), which offers six strength settings. The regeneration level can be selected as the driver likes according to road conditions, such as when approaching a bend or descending a mountain road, or when seeking a sportier ride, allowing the driver to get just the right amount of desired brake force from the system.

3. Product Description (Differences from Outlander ICE Version)

(1) Exterior

The Outlander PHEV features a specially-designed front upper/middle grille and rear combination LED lamps with clear lenses, while the bumpers and lower body come in the same color as the body for a modern, urban look.

Machine-polished 18-inch aluminum wheels (exclusive to the Outlander PHEV) are employed on all except the E trim level.

The new Outlander PHEV is offered in a choice of four body colors, including a new Technical Silver Metallic, a unique color with an air of translucency developed specifically for the Outlander PHEV to go alongside Black Mica, Titanium Gray Metallic, and White Pearl.

(2) Interior

The interior retains the sophisticated, comfortable feel of the gasoline Outlander. All except the E trim level feature a new crystal fiber-like dashboard and door trim ornament panel that impart a modern-looking refined feel.

The seats, specially designed for the Outlander PHEV, are upholstered in artificial leather and fabric with silver stitching. G Premium Package models feature power-adjustable genuine leather-upholstered seats and heating for extra comfort.

The easy-to-read high-contrast meters now include a power meter that shows at a glance how much energy is being used and recovered. The high-definition color LCD multi-information display system, which provides access to a range of e-Assist and eco-driving support data and route guidance information linked to the car navigation system (in models equipped with MMCS), now displays vehicle energy flow data.

The selector lever is a futuristic-looking joystick with an electric "parking switch" that locks the lever.

Like the Outlander ICE variants, the Outlander PHEV comes with an "ECO Mode" switch that controls electricity and fuel usage for increased efficiency at the touch of a button and an ECO Driving Support System Display system that shows just how much energy is being saved on the road.

(3) Packaging & Occupant Comfort

Although the new model comes with the new PHEV system, it offers practically the same interior comfort and luggage space as the Outlander ICE versions with five occupants. The 60/40-split second row seats use a double-action folding mechanism which allows the user to tailor the seating layout more flexibly and easily to passenger and luggage requirements.

(4) Body & Chassis

The Outlander PHEV features enhancements including a reinforced body to ensure high levels of impact safety and stability. MMC has also made meticulous efforts to dampen vibration and insulate and absorb sound, resulting in the kind of interior comfort unique to a PHEV.

The front and rear suspensions have been tuned to handle the weight of the Plug-in Hybrid EV System and reduce road noise. Placing the drive battery under floor lowers the center of gravity, which provides improved stability and ride comfort.

(5) Safety Features

G Safety Package, G Navi Package, and G Premium Package trim levels come standard with the advanced e-Assist safety system. e-Assist comprises three functions to ensure a safe and comfortable ride: the Forward Collision Mitigation System (FCM), which automatically helps avoid a collision with the vehicle ahead or reduce impact damage in the event of a collision; the Lane Departure Warning System (LDW), which alerts the driver when the vehicle starts to drift from its lane aiding driver concentration; and the Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC), which automatically maintains a driver-adjustable distance with the vehicle in front, reducing the chance of a collision if the vehicle suddenly stops.

Note: FCM, LDW, and ACC are not able to cope with all traffic, weather, and road conditions. FCM and ACC are designed to react to motor vehicles and will not react to pedestrians, bicycles, or motorbikes.

Active Stability Control (ASC) is standard on all models. This controls delivery of drive and braking force to the four wheels to prevent skidding on slippery roads or when sudden steering changes are made.

As on ICE models, all Outlander PHEV models come standard with a total of seven SRS airbags: driver and passenger seat airbags, side and curtain airbags, and a knee airbag for the driver. With a Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) safety body, the Outlander PHEV is fully fitted to protect occupants in the event of a collision.

(6) Mitsubishi Remote Control

The Outlander PHEV can be remote-controlled*9 through specially-designed smartphone or tablet applications, making available variety of functions, including scheduled charging, pre-air conditioning, and access to information on battery charge and door status (factory option on all trim levels except E).

*9: Wireless communication via IEEE802.11b.

(7) Equipment & Trim

A side-view camera covering the blind spot to the vehicle's left and a convenient rear-view camera to assist backing in to parking spaces and such come standard on models fitted with MMCS or Display Audio system.

Standard on the G Navi Package and G Premium Package trim level models is a power tailgate, which makes it especially easier for users that cannot easily reach the top of the tailgate to load and unload luggage.

All models come standard with a keyless operation system which, with the keyfob in pocket or handbag, allows driver to operate the car locks simply by pressing the door or tailgate switch to start or stop the Plug-in Hybrid EV System by pressing the power button.

All trim levels are equipped with fully automatic climate control with separate temperature controls for driver and front passenger. Also available as a factory option is an electric heater, which integrates with the Mitsubishi Remote Control to provide air conditioning as well as heating for a comfortable interior even before entering the vehicle - without having to run the gasoline engine.

A luggage floor box is provided for storing items such as charging cables.

An ordinary charging socket for recharging at home and a 5-meter 200V AC charging cable come standard. A handy quick-charging socket for charging when away from home is also available as a factory option. To assist charging at night, a light turns on automatically when the charging lid on the right-hand side of the vehicle is opened.

(8) Navigation & Audio Systems

Standard on the G Navi Package and G Premium Package trim levels (and available as a factory option on the G trim level) is the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS). New functions included specifically for the Outlander PHEV are; a vehicle energy flow display, vehicle energy monitor, charging point search function, charging cost monitor (measuring cost of energy used to charge the drive battery when plugged-in) and cruising range displays.

To take full advantage of the Outlander PHEV's extremely quiet interior, the RockfordFosgate® Premium Sound System comes standard on the G Premium Package trim level and as a factory option on models fitted with MMCS.

4. Specifications

Overall length x width x height (mm)
4655x1800x1680
Wheelbase (mm)
2670
Tires
225/55R18
Vehicle weight (kg)
1770-1820
Occupants
5
Drivetrain
Twin Motor 4WD
Motors
Type
Permanent magnet synchronous
Quantity
2 (front x 1, rear x 1)
Max. output
Front: 60 kW (82PS)
Rear: 60 kW (82PS)
Max. torque
Front: 137 N・m (14.0 kgf・m)
Rear: 195 N・m (19.9 kgf・m)
Battery
Type
Lithium-ion
Total voltage
300 V
Rated capacity
12 kWh
Engine
Type
2.0-liter 4-cyl. DOHC MIVEC gasoline engine
Max. output (net)
87 kW (118PS) / 4500 rpm
Max. torque (net)
186 N・m (19.0 kgf・m) / 4500 rpm
Estimated charging times
200 V AC (15 A)
Approx. 4 hours (full charge)
Quick-charging time (factory option)
Approx. 30 minutes (80% charge)
Plug-in cruising range
60.2 km (under the Japanese JC08 test cycle)
Combined fuel efficiency
67.0 km/l (under the Japanese JC08 test cycle)
Hybrid fuel efficiency
18.6 km/l (under the Japanese JC08 test cycle)
Plug-in fuel efficiency
- (powered solely by electricity provided by external charging)

5. Sales Information
(1) Sales Target
4,000 units (in fiscal 2012)
(2) Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
MSRPs do not include recycling fee, insurance, taxes other than consumption tax, or registration costs.

Trim level
Vehicle price
(incl. consumption tax)
Eco-car tax reduction
Max. subsidy available in fiscal 2012
(for ref. only)
E (build-to-order)*10
¥3,324,000
Tax exempt
¥430,000
G
¥3,569,000
G Safety Package
¥3,664,000
G Navi Package
¥3,978,000
G Premium Package
¥4,297,000

*10: Production of build-to-order models and models with factory options is scheduled to begin at the end of February 2013.