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Outlander PHEV details for US version

This week at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi revealed more details about the upcoming Outlander PHEV destined for the North American markets.

The updated Outlander is now available in North America, and the plug-in hybrid version will be available in early 2014. The Outlander plug-in hybrid blends the i-MiEV technology with Super All-Wheel Control (from the Lancer Evolution) and the ruggedness and reliability that the Montero and Outlander SUV are known for. It uses an EV based drivetrain that uses a pair of electric motors and is supplemented by a front mounted 2 liter gasoline engine.

One electric motor is placed in the front, the other is in the rear of the vehicle, and each powers its own axle independently for optimal front and rear power split depending on driving needs. Both of these motors are connected to a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows the Outlander PHEV to be driven up to 30 miles (in the Japanese spec Outlander on the Japanese test cycle) in pure electric mode.

The lithium-ion battery pack has been sealed in a dust and waterproof case that is located underneath the passenger compartment and between the front and rear axles. Mitsubishi was very careful and specific in making sure the battery pack and the rear electric motor do not protrude into the passenger or cargo areas. The rear electric motor is, however, placed in the space that the optional 3rd row seats would be in if a gasoline Outlander was purchased with the option – that means the Outlander PHEV is a 5 passenger only.

Refer to the diagram below to see the location of the drivetrain components on the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

New Outlander PHEV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.

New Outlander PHEV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.

2015 Pajero could get Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid system

“The Pajero is our flagship,” Mitsubishi Motors head of product and strategy development, Ryugo Nakao.   And soon it will be offered in a plug-in hybrid version.

The Pajero is a large SUV with world wide recognition similar to the Toyota Land Cruiser. It hasn’t been available in North America since 2006, but the redesigned 2015 Pajero may make a re-entry into the US.

At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Nakao said the Outlander PHEV’s plug-in hybrid system could be featured in the next generation Pajero and if it is, that would satisfy US customer’s urge for a large SUV that isn’t fuel thirsty.

There is no firm timeline for the next generation timeline, but media outlets seem to think 2015 is likely. Nakao stated the current Pajero must go on for at least 2 or 3 more years – we’re not sure why, but that’s what he said.

Nakao suggest a PHEV of the Pajero would slash consumption and emissions, while simultaneously increasing the performance of the Pajero.

Officially, Nakao only says “Plug-in hybrid is an option,” but the instant success of the Outlander PHEV in Japan, could influence the automaker’s decision when it comes time to pick powertrains for the 2015 Pajero. Japan has around 30,000 orders for the Outlander PHEV.

As Nakao stressed, the Pajero will always be a go-anywhere SUV, so even if it gets the PHEV system, it will remain 4wd capable.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV expected to be 50% of UK Outlander sales

2013 Outlander phev black

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will go on sale in the UK in the summer of 2013. Mitsubishi managing director, Lance Bradley, revealed that the Outlander PHEV could indeed outsell the diesel internal combustion engine Outlanders.

In an interview with What Car? Bradley said the Outlander PHEV could account for 50% of Outlander sales in the UK. As Bradley explains it, the 3 year cost of the Outlander PHEV will be the same as the diesel version, and after the first 3 years, the savings increase dramatically.

“When you take the purchase price and the running costs into account, it is about the same amount over a three-year period for the diesel as it is for the PHEV.” After that first 3 years, the operating costs of the PHEV are markedly lower than for the diesel Outlander.

Price reductions on the Outlander PHEV, which Bradley hinted at, will likely come soon as Mitsubishi hopes to eventually release a cheaper trim level of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Outlander PHEV features a 117 hp 2.0 liter gasoline engine and 2 electric motors – one powering the front wheels, and one driving the back wheels. The electric only range is quoted at 32 miles, which is impressive for a vehicle this size to say the least.

In the UK, when the Outlander PHEV goes on sale, it is expected to cost around £30,000 ($44,802 US) after incentives.


Outlander PHEV operation dumbed down

Mitsubishi has released a youtube video of how the plug-in hybrid system in the upcoming Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV oeprates. It’s an overly simplified video of the PHEV system, as well as several schematics an an operational summary:

The Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System provides energy conservation, and at the same time offers driving that is comfortable, safe and reliable.
When driving at medium- to low-speeds, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System stays in EV Mode, driving the vehicle through its electric motors using electricity from the drive battery.

When the remaining energy in the drive battery gets low, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System’s switches to Series Hybrid Mode where its gasoline engine automatically starts and generates power for the electric motors.

When driving at high speeds, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System switches to Parallel Hybrid Mode which also uses the power of the gasoline engine to drive the vehicle as its engine operates more efficiently than its electric motors at high RPM.

Furthermore, when a vehicle with the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System is decelerating, it switches to the Regenerative Mode which uses the motors as power generators to recharge the drive battery. In this way, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid EV System optimally controls each of the driving modes so it provides the versatility to drive as a 100% electric vehicle, use the engine to charge the drive battery, or drive using the motors and the engine at the same time, based on driving conditions.

Here is the video:

And this is an image of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV components and locations in the vehicle

Outlander PHEV Component locations

Outlander PHEV Component locations

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the UK

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front three quarters

Mitsubishi UK ha announced the release of the Outlander PHEV SUV, and promised it by June 2013!

While fuel efficiency and pricing information hasn’t been released yet for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the UK, there is a page on the Outlander PHEV Forum that has pricing news udpates. We’ll be watching it to see when pricing info is available.

Lance Bradley, the managing director of Mitsubishi Motors U.K said that the vehicle could “perhaps” achieve 150 MPG at best.

On the Japanese test cycle, the Outlander PHEV achieved 125 MPG.

According to Bradley, the pricing will be ‘highly competitive.’ He went on to say that the Outlander PHEV is the first 4wd hybrid plug-in SUV that seats seven people – which is up for debate, because everywhere else only gets a 5 seat version of the plug-in hybrid Outlander

“This will put future technology in the driveways of mums and dads today,” Paul Unerkov, Mitsubishi Australia vice-president, said. “Over a year, we aim to sell them in the thousands, not the hundreds,” he said. It is expected to go on sale in Australia in 2013, and the United States in 2014. Unkerox said that the price will range from $40,000 to $50,000 AUD, which is $41,000 to $53,000 USD.

Outlander Plug-in

As more sales of the Outlander PHEV continue in Japan, more and more info is being posted online. The more details that are posted, the more excited I get about being able to buy a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV when it comes to North America!

The Outlander plug-in powertrain consists of a 117 bhp gasoline engine that has a 2.0 liter displacement. There are also 2 60kW electric motors, and a 70 kW electric generator.

The gasoline engine powers the front wheels of the Outlander PHEV, and the 2 electric motors power the front and rear wheels for permanent 4 wheel drive traction.

Using a 110V outlet, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in can be charged in around 4 hours. Using a fast charge option, the battery reaches 80% in about 30 minutes of charging.

The regenerative braking feature helps to recapture energy when slowing the vehicle down, and the amount/strength of regen can be adjusted using steering wheel mounted paddles.

The Outlander PHEV emits 44g/km of CO2, and the average economy is rated at 149 MPG on the Japanese test cycle, and it can travel up to 32 miles on pure electric power from the lithium-ion battery pack.

According to one UK article, the Outlander PHEV might qualify for a £5000 grant from the government.

Outlander PHEV Availability

This is the latest run down of when and where the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will be available for purchase

In Japan, its currently on sale – since January 24th.

In the US, the Outlander PHEV is set to go on sale in January 2014, but no specific day given. Also, no information has been provided about pre-orders or pre-sales of the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.

The Outlander PHEV Forum is officially on sale in the Netherlands. First deliveries are expected in July 2013, and Mitsubishi says they have received 2,500 pre-orders. None have yet been delivered.

Aside from the Netherlands, Mitsubishi has said the Outlander PHEV will be available in Europe, with no specific dates given and no country names provided either.

Mitsubishi is currently thinking about taking the Outlander PHEV to the Philippines.

Australia and New Zealand are set to receive the Outlander plug-in hybrid, no dates provided.

The Outlander PHEV will be sold in Indonesia through Mitsubishi’s distributor KTB Motors.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forum

As production of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV nears, there are many people with many questions – I am one of them. Yes, I know that the Outlander PHEV is already available in Japan, and soon will be in the Netherlands as well (once they actually ship some over there), but i mean production dates for North America and for the US and Canada specifically.

I found there is a decent number of people on the Outlander PHEV Forum already, and there’s some great discussion about how viable the Outlander PHEV will be in North America.

The Outlander PHEV will have 3 drive modes for optimum efficiency: EV drive mode, Series hybrid mode and parallel hybrid mode. Many of the SUVs today use limited slip, computer controlled systems to enhance traction. The plug-in hybrid Outlander will use computer controlled devices, but since the front wheels are powered by 1 electric motor and the rear wheels powered by another electric motor, the Outlander PHEV has huge advantages as far as traction control go.

There is a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack hidden beneath the floor boards and enclosed in a secure frame. The battery pack consists of 80 different cells.

When the battery pack’s charge is depleted, the Outlander PHEV has a 2 liter atkinson gasoline engine that kicks in the provide juice to the electric motors – the gasoline engine does not drive the wheels, it only provides power to the electric motors.

Coming equipped with both CHAdeMO and J1772 charging standards, using a 240 Volt hookup, you’ll be able to fully charge the Outlander PHEV’s battery pack in around 4 hours, and quick charge to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes.