Mike Stevens | Jul 7, 2011

The largest model in Mitsubishi's electric and hybrid vehicle family remains a concept for now, but you can bet dollars to dumplings that the PX-MiEV - shown at the Australian International Motor Show this week - is the new Outlander.

The PX-MiEV is not a new concept, having debuted at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, but it remains a rock-solid preview of Mitsubishi's plans not only for its regular SUV range, but also for its ongoing plan to electrify and hybridise its line-up.

In concept form, the PX-MiEV is powered at the front and rear wheels by a pair of permanent magnet synchronous motors.

A 1.6 litre inline four-cylinder petrol engine adds additional power to the front wheels when needed while also working as a generator for the electric motors.

mitsubishi px miev concept 2011 australian international motor show 05

Using Mitsubishi's E-4WD system, the PX-MiEV can shift torque from left to right depending on where it's needed most, using the same S-AWC and E-AYC technology as Mitsubishi's hero Evolution X.

Separate to the Evo X's multi-plate clutch, a new centre differential motor sends additional torque to the rear when needed.

As with most new plug-in hybrid concepts, the PX-MiEV features the ability to drive exclusively on electric power, via the conventional petrol engine, or with a combination of the two - generally at higher speeds where a petrol engine operates more efficiently.

Similar to the Chevrolet Volt, the PX-MiEV concept can use its petrol engine as a generator, kicking in to revitalise the electric motors when they lose their charge.

In Regenerative Mode, the PX-MiEV will use a kinetic energy recovery system to draw energy from the braking systems, storing the charge in the car's battery packs.

Mitsubishi has yet to announce production plans for the PX-MiEV plug-in hybrid, but it is expected to debut globally in petrol and diesel form as the new Outlander sometime in the next year.

International reports late last year pointed to a 2013 launch for the PX-MiEV hybrid, followed by an electric version of the smaller ASX compact SUV.

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