Clean­ing power

The lean­est-run­ning SUV is com­ing to Aus­tralia

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@carsguide.com.au 2

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

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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

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