Mitsubishi Motors’ Chinese joint-venture with domestic company GAC has revealed an electric crossover SUV called the Airtrek.
A 70kWh ternary lithium battery pack mounted low in the floor and with liquid cooling provides a claimed 520km range on the Chinese efficiency cycle, though this measurement metric is generally hard to replicate in regular driving.
Power comes from a 165kW and 350Nm drive motor. The motor, inverter, and reduction drive have been integrated into a single unit.
Exterior design features include the signature ‘dynamic shield’ face, split LED headlights, flush door handles, a black roof with glass panel, and aerodynamic wheels.
The cabin is said to feature soft touchpoints all over, and there are 32 LED lighting colours to cycle through. The 12.3-inch touchscreen has conversational voice control, and the large digital instrument cluster looks super sharp.
Software over-the-air updates will be pushed out, GAC Mitsubishi says, and there’s also a connected smartphone app. Nine radars and cameras enable claimed level 2 autonomy, meaning lane-keeping assist and active cruise control (often called pilot mode).
GAC Mitsubishi produces all the familiar Mitsubishi products – Pajero Sport, Pajero, Outlander (old generation), Eclipse Cross (called Yi Ge) and ASX (Xin Jin Hyun) – bar the Triton. The Airtrek (or Atuko) is a China-exclusive standalone model.
The 30-year old joint venture is based in Hunan. Half the shares are owned by GAC, 30 per cent by Mitsubishi Motors, and 20 per cent by the wider Mitsubishi Corporation umbrella company.
Don’t expect the GAC Mitsubishi Airtrek to make an appearance beyond China. The smart money is on Mitsubishi launching its own EV SUV based on the Nissan Ariya underpinnings for world markets, to supplement its PHEVs. The timing remains opaque.