Mitsubishi's plug-in crossover achieves Prius-like mpg stats
TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s Outlander plug-in hybrid crossover, which will debut at this month's Paris auto show, promises four-wheel drive plus the fuel economy of a Prius plug-in hybrid.
It goes on sale early next year in Japan, then in Europe and North America.
The Outlander PHEV has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two independent electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. The technology offers a complex interplay of three drive modes.
For daily commutes, the two motors and lithium ion battery can power it in electric-only mode up to 34 miles.
Usually, the engine acts as a generator to recharge the battery. But at high speeds, the engine exerts direct mechanical force to the front wheels, in addition to that coming from the electric motors, while also recharging the battery.
Mitsubishi says the crossover will get a combined fuel economy of 143 mpg under Japan's testing procedure. That puts it on par with the plug-in version of the Prius, which has the same combined rating in Japan. The crossover has not received an EPA rating.
Styling is based on the PX-MiEV II concept vehicle shown at last December's Tokyo Motor Show.
Mitsubishi did not say when the vehicle would be launched in the United States. But the gasoline version is likely to arrive in U.S. showrooms next summer, with the hybrid perhaps coming about six months later.
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