After years of development, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has proven to be a hit in Europe, and the Japanese automaker is sporting things up with the Outlander PHEV S. Though this mild concept is all show and no go, it could be a hint towards what US customers should expect when the Outlander arrives on our shores sometime next year.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV S has a number of little changes that add up to a much brawnier-looking SUV. The front fascia and grille has both been swept back a bit to provide a more aggressive feel compared to the softer lines of the current Outlander, and sharper headlights look ready to cut through the night. The lower air dam also looks much better with this update, whereas the original Outlander’s front end just looked…soft. The back end has also been updated in a similar fashion, but sorry, no pics yet.
The interior was also graced with updated materials like black wood grain trimmed with silver accents, and a center console reminiscent of traditional Japanese lacquered boxes. The interior was said to be a point of concern for Mitsubishi, and is one possible reason why the Outlander PHEV isn’t for sale in the US yet. The S Concept comes with the same 2.0 liter turbo engine and 12 kWh lithium-ion battery-backed plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which has been what most of the talk has centered around.
Tests have shown that the Outlander PHEV really does achieve the same fuel economy Mitsubishi claims it does, and a plug-in hybrid SUV seems like a surefire hit in SUV-crazed America. Alas, these delays mean the Outlander PHEV will debut in America just as Tesla Model X sales are ramping up, and I’m afraid it could end up lost in the shuffle.
My concerns aside, Mitsubishi has shown us how a few small changes can make for a much better looking car. Now now I can talk about the good looks of the Outlander PHEV, as well as its cutting edge drivetrain.