The leanest-running SUV is coming to Australia
THE plug-in electric hybrid version of Mitsubishi’s newgeneration Outlander SUV will be here next year, priced at some $5000 more than its conventional counterpart.
Mitsubishi says the partelectric version is the most fuelefficient, full-size SUV, capable of about 2.5L/100km over its range, equivalent to a very low 50g/km of CO .
Toyota’s Prius uses 3.0L/100km, emitting 89g/km of CO .
The figures for the petrol Outlander are 9.3L/100km and
2 227g/km CO . The outgoing model is priced in the $30,000-$50,000 range.
Mitsubishi will make electric, hybrid or plug-in versions of all its new models.
The plug-in Outlander is bigger than the current model and has seven seats. It has a range of about 800km on its batteries, assisted by a small onboard petrol engine.
Mitsubishi electric vehicles spokesman Ashley Sanders says the plug-in uses two 60kw electric motors, one driving the front wheels and the other the rear. The 70kw petrol engine acts mainly as a generator. The vehicle will run on electric-only after an overnight charge and, as the batteries run down, the petrol engine will start up and power a generator.
‘‘ However, the engine can provide power to the wheels,’’ Sanders says. ‘‘ It will act as a supplementary power source. It’s not the primary power source as is the case in hybrids such as the Prius.
‘‘ So the Outlander can be driven with all-electric power from the batteries, or with the engine used as a generator for the batteries, or where the engine is helping the electric motors. It’s all done automatically.’’
The plug-in Outlander weighs about 180kg more than the petrol version, due mainly to the 72 lithium-ion battery cells under the floor.
Following the newgeneration Outlander, which arrives in November, the plugin will be Mitsubishi Australia’s second electric, or part-electric, vehicle. The tiny I-MIEV will be joined by three more battery models over the next two years.
The plug-in Outlander is based on Mitsubishi’s PXMIEV II concept. Mitsubishi will import only the petrol and plug-in Outlanders.
They will be followed by the Mirage, the light-car replacement for the Colt, then the Lancer small car.
The Mirage, unveiled in 1.0-litre petrol form at the Tokyo motor show, will go on sale in Thailand, where it’s built, in the second quarter.
Plug ’er in: Mitsubishi’s hybrid Overlander outdoes Toyota’s Prius