Auto Zeitung of Germany test drives the Outlander PHEV

Titled “The song of a low-emission future”, the 2013 Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was reviewed by Auto Zeitung. The Outlander PHEV system consists of a 121 horsepower 4 cylinder gasoline engine, coupled with a 70 kw generator. There are 2 electric motors rated at 82kW each – one drives the front wheels and the other drives the rear wheels.

A lithium ion battery pack is located under the floor of the vehicle, and doesn’t take up any cargo space thanks in part to Mitsubishi engineering the new redesigned 2013 Outlander to have a plug-in hybrid option drivetrain right from the start (unlike other gasoline vehicles that are converted, and batteries take up the trunk space).

The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in is the first mass produced SUV with a plug. It’s also the first all wheel drive plug-in hybrid electric. The front wheels are driven by the gasoline engine and front electric motor, and the rear axle is driven solely by the rear electric motor. Power distribution between the front and rear axles is electronically controlled and allows a power-split of up to 100% to one of the axles. If the driver select off-road mode, then the power split it 50/50.

Due to the extra weight of the battery pack and electric motors, the plug-in hybrid Outlander sits about 30 millimeters lower to the ground than it’s gasoline brothers.

Regen is available in all 3 driving modes, and the intensity of the regeneration is selectable via paddles on the steering wheel. Selecting the most intense regen makes going downhill feel like traditional engine braking in a standard transmission vehicle.

According to the article, the 2013 Outlander PHEV is headed for launch in Europe in the summer, with prices starting at 41,000 €.

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