Mitsubishi Motors has had a rough time of it lately, and the Japanese automaker needs a big hit to remain a viable contender in the car market. Their trump card is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle), which goes on sale in Japan on January 24.
The propulsion system consists of two 60 kW (60 kW = 80 HP) electric motors powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery bank, and a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine.Each of the two 60 kW (80 HP, combined: 160 HP) electric motors is independent (there is one on each axle), while the gas engine produces 85 kW (117 HP) and 137 pound-feet of torque (186 Newton-metres) at 4,500 RPM.
This plug-in hybrid has an electric driving range of 37.4 miles, and the combined fuel efficiency rating is 67 km/L (178 MPG US, also known as 1.5 L/100 km). The hybrid efficiency is 18.6 km/L (44 MPG US, also known as 5.4 L/100 km), and the hybrid system allows the Outlander to operate in three different modes.
In this mode, the vehicle uses electricity only from the battery, allowing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to achieve its highest efficiency. As you might expect this mode uses only the motors and battery for propulsion, and this mode can be used to silently enter or leave neighborhoods late at night, or during early morning hours to avoid sleep disturbance.
Series Hybrid Mode
As series hybrids sometimes do, the gas engine generates electricity to power the vehicles 60 kW motors when the battery’s SOC (state of charge) is low. In this mode the gas engine charges the battery pack, with the electric motors still doing a bulk of the work. There is also a Battery Charge Mode in which the gas engine generates electricity to charge the battery. This is similar to how the Chevy Volt works when the battery is depleted.
Parallel Hybrid Mode
This mode is activated when the vehicle attains high speeds to provide the vehicle with additional power. In this mode, the gasoline engine provides most of the power, and the electric motors assist it when going uphill. This is the least efficient, but most powerful mode, allowing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV an unparalleled amount of vehicular versatility.
The MSRP is ¥3,324,000–¥4,297,000 (US$38,972–$50,380) in Japan, including consumption tax. But is anyone in America really willing to spend that kind of money (or likely even more) on a Mitsubishi?
Source: Green Car Congress