Mitsubishi’s Executive Vice President of Overseas Operations, Kozo Shiraji, introduced the carmaker's new GT-PHEV concept (which stands for Ground Tourer Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) as the “possible form for a future large SUV”.
But the GT-PHEV (pictured), currently on display at the Paris Motor Show, means Mitsubishi has given a strong hint as to how a future plug-in hybrid SUV might look.
At the same time, the carmaker has confirmed the driving range for its next plug-in vehicle promises to greatly expand on the current Outlander PHEV’s range.
Kozo Shiraji announced that the GT PHEV has an electric-only range of up to 120 kilometres, far exceeding the 50km electric range of the Outlander PHEV, with a combined petrol and electric range of over 1200km.
Mr Shiraji also confirmed that Mitsubishi’s future will revolve around two key product pillars, the first being "SUV" and the second being "electric" - pure electric and plug-in hybrid.
Sharing the show stand with the GT PHEV is Mitsubishi’s earlier eX concept, an all-electric small SUV designed to sit alongside the next-generation ASX (as previewed by the 2015 XR-PHEV II Concept).
“In the near future Mitsubishi plans to introduce two electric powered SUVs. One will be a pure electric compact SUV, based on this concept car,” Mr Shiraji said, indicating the eX concept.
"The other will be a versatile plug in hybrid SUV. Today we will introduce this concept here.” (Referring to the GT PHEV.)
With the boldest interpretation yet of Mitsubishi’s ‘Dynamic Shield’ grille, a contrasting roof inspired by convertibles, and an interior featuring clamshell doors and a high centre console to invoke a feeling of “exclusive space”, the GT PHEV is a strong departure from Mitsubishi's current model range.
Though described as a large SUV, the production version of the GT PHEV is likely to take over from the Outlander, as Mitsubishi shuffles its current range to make way for new models, like the eX.
Powering the concept is a 2.4 litre petrol engine, and three high-output, high-efficiency electric motors, with one 90kW motor tasked with driving the front axle and two 45kW motors deployed at the rear. The whole system is fed by a 25kWh high-energy density, next-generation high-capacity battery.
Power is divided between the wheels via Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control four-wheel-drive system, with active yaw control and a front limited-slip differential.
Though described as a representation of a vehicle for the “near future”, no word has yet been given on a timeframe for a production version of the GT PHEV. (The current Outlander PHEV only having been introduced to Australia in 2014, and with the facelifted 2017 version only recently arriving, the next-generation model will likely be some way off.)
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