PHEV Driving Range Extended, Lancer Becalmed, Mitsubishi And FCA Partnership Firming Photo:
2016_mitsubishi_outlander_phev_overseas_02 Photo: tmr
2016_mitsubishi_outlander_phev_overseas_01 Photo: tmr
2016_mitsubishi_outlander_phev_overseas_04 Photo: tmr
2016_mitsubishi_outlander_phev_overseas_03 Photo: tmr
Tim O'Brien | Oct, 28 2015 | 2 Comments

The driving range of the new Outlander PHEV, and the all-new model to sit between it and the ASX, will have an extended electric driving range, Mitsubishi President Mr Tetsuro Aikawa said today.

He would not be drawn on what the new range will be, but said that improvements in battery technology were behind the gains.

Currently, the useable electric driving range of the Outlander PHEV is around 50 kilometres in real-world driving. While the ability to recharge fully from the petrol motor eliminates ‘range anxiety’, Australian buyers would seem unconvinced by the relatively short electric range in the current car.

Improvements here may be the key to wider market acceptance of the PHEV. Certainly, it is a car that has convinced TMR of both its environmental merits and everyday savings.

It will however not be the only choice for Mitsubishi buyers looking for green solutions to their transport needs.

“Mitsubishi is working on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles in the far-future,” Mr Aikawa said.

Lancer Becalmed

Things are not so promising for Lancer. Since news surfaced that the proposed alliance with Renault for the development of a replacement had fallen through, the Lancer has been friendless - even, it would seem, within Mitsubishi.

“(The) C-segment car is not a matter of priority (for Mitsubishi)”, Mr Aikawa said

How a Renault based Lancer might have looked
How a Renault based Lancer might have looked

That means that Mitsubishi is going to soldier on with the current Lancer, like the current Pajero, for at least the next four years.

“One thing I can say is for us to develop a (C-segment) sedan independently is very difficult, (but) the business case did not work out with Renault.”

“If we can find an OEM partner, as soon as possible we will get this new product underway,” he said.

The priority for Mitsubishi, clearly, is with SUVs and the company's growing interest in PHEV and EV technologies.

“We’re planning to launch by fiscal year 2017 a five-model SUV line-up,” Mr Aikawa said.

MMC And Fiat Chrysler Partnership Firming

The Mirage is, and will remain, an important model in Mitsubishi’s model range, particularly in developing markets, and is also the cornerstone of a partnership with Fiat Chrysler.

“We are providing FCA with Mirage in Mexico,” Mr Aikawa said . “We carry development costs because it is our vehicle, but if (they...) wanted a specific product, they would share development costs.”

That partnership is to be extended beyond the Mirage with the provision of the Triton – as a Fiat-badged pick-up – to Fiat Chrysler from next year.

While speculative images of the new 'Fiat' light-commercial suggested a totally new look for this car, we can confirm it will instead be “fully built by Mitsubishi, but with changes to the bumper and badges”.

Fiat's FCC4 doesn't point the way to how a Triton-based pick-up will look
Fiat's FCC4 doesn't point the way to how a Triton-based pick-up will look

In other words, a badge-engineered product – straight from the factory and ready for the showroom – provided by Mitsubishi.

Perhaps Mitsubishi's C-segment solution can be found in this relationship.

MORE: Mitsubishi News and Reviews

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