Mitsubishi aims to further enhance the off-road credentials of its Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid), by competing in the upcoming Baja Portalegre 500 in Portugal.
A relatively ‘standard’ version of the Outlander PHEV tackled the 2014 Australasian Safari (pictured, below) but if the carmaker’s teaser image is anything to go by, this new racer will be a much tougher machine.
Mitsubishi says the Outlander’s suspension, control system and battery structure have all been extensively modified for the event, but the car will still operate as a plug-in hybrid.
However, while the PHEV system will largely mirror that of the road-going vehicle, Mitsubishi has beefed up the battery pack and generator system to achieve a greater capacity and output.
The racer will be piloted by experienced Mitsubishi test driver and two-time Dakar winner, Hiroshi Masuoka, who will also serve as team captain.
“The non-stop competition format of the Baja 500 will demand the highest levels of drive motor and battery durability from the Outlander PHEV,” Masuoka said.
“Like many competitors in this year’s Baja Portalegre 500, I am driven to show Outlander PHEV’s incredible driving dynamics and durability which come direct from the production car. With the support of [the] development engineers, we will compete with a view to finishing among the winners.”
The carmaker says data gathered while competing in the event will eventually lead to new or improved technology filtering through to future Outlander models.
The 2015 Baja Portalegre 500 is the ninth round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, and is scheduled to be run in eastern Portugal from October 22-24.
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