Mitsubishi’s next-generation plug-in hybrid SUV is getting a huge boost in electric range.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain the company says delivers more performance and range, with the latter now a claimed 83-87km on the WLTP test cycle depending on the variant.
That’s up from 54km in the current car, which happens to be assessed on the more lenient NEDC test cycle.
The redesigned Outlander PHEV will be launched in Japan first in December, with an Australian launch scheduled for the first half of 2022.
Local pricing and specs will be revealed closer to launch.
The old 13.8kWh battery has been swapped out for a larger 20kWh battery, while Mitsubishi touts an increase in power of around 40 per cent for the electric motors and battery.
It’s still powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder ‘MIVEC’ engine which produces 98kW of power and 195Nm of torque, which is mated with two electric motors: one with 85kW of power and 255Nm of torque, the other with 100kW and 195Nm.
There’s no combined system output figure available.
The outgoing car uses a 94kW/199Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine, a 60kW/137Nm electric motor for the front wheels, and a 70kW/195Nm electric motor on the rear axle.
In addition to making the Outlander PHEV last longer on electric power, Mitsubishi has also increased driving range for the petrol engine through the use of a larger fuel tank.
The front electric motor has a new booster function which Mitsubishi claims raises the supply of energy to the front motor while reducing power consumption, and there are seven drive modes to choose from: Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, Mud, Power and Eco.
Mitsubishi has added a new one-pedal driving mode, allowing you to accelerate and decelerate simply by pressing and releasing the accelerator pedal.
Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system gains a new Active Yaw Control function for the rear wheels, distributing the driving force to the front and rear wheels depending on conditions.
Torque vectoring for the front and rear wheels is also possible by controlling the brakes.
The Outlander PHEV has gained a third row of seats for the first time, which aligns it in seating capacity with the regular petrol-powered 2022 Outlander. A two-row version will continue to be available.
There’s little in the way of visual distinction between the PHEV and the regular 2022 Outlander, apart from badging.
It rides on 20-inch wheels, while a contrast roof is available.
Mitsubishi calls the Outlander PHEV its flagship model, and the new car has seen a significant boost in interior ambience and technology in addition to moving to a new platform and getting a superior powertrain.
It’s equipped with the MI-PILOT7 driver assistance technology, which integrates the adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist to keep you centred in your lane and a safe distance from other vehicles.
It can also detect traffic signs and adjust your speed accordingly, while also using map data to adjust your speed according to curves and forks in the road.
That’s in addition to safety features found elsewhere on the Outlander line, like blind-spot assist, autonomous emergency braking (forward and reverse), rear cross-traffic alert, and driver attention monitoring.
The Mitsubishi Connect system allows you to check how much range you have left with your battery and set charging times and alerts. The corresponding smartphone app also allows you to track the vehicle.
We expect the Outlander PHEV to see a price increase over the current car, much as the ‘regular’ Outlander is now pricier than the old car.
The core range is up by $2500-4000 compared to corresponding variants in the old range.
The outgoing Outlander PHEV is priced from $47,990 to $56,490 before on-road costs.
Mitsubishi says it has sold over 290,000 Outlander PHEVs globally since its introduction.
While Mitsubishi was one of the earliest brands to market with a PHEV, it’s only just introduced a second PHEV model.
The Eclipse Cross Plug-In Hybrid arrived in Australia earlier in 2021 and uses the outgoing Outlander PHEV’s set-up, good for 55km in this smaller SUV.