Fourth generation Mitsubishi Outlander
Now the situation has changed — a plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV is presented in Japan with a declared gasoline consumption of no more than 6.2 liters per 100 kilometers according to the local WLTC cycle! And although the outwardly electrified version differs from the usual one only by an additional charging hatch opposite the neck of the gas tank, the progress in technology is obvious.
Mitsubishi engineers stayed true to the series-parallel design used on the past Outlander PHEV. The basic design is the same: a 2.4 4B12 naturally aspirated gasoline engine (133 forces, 195 Nm) works in tandem with two electric motors, a traction battery is located under the floor. However, the entire electronic filling is different: the battery capacity has been increased by one and a half times to 20 kilowatt-hours, the front electric motor now develops 116 forces and 255 Nm (it was 82 forces and 195 Nm), the rear — 136 forces and 195 Nm (it was 90 forces and 137 Nm ). The peak power of the power plant is 224 horsepower.
At city speeds, the Outlander PHEV operates in sequential hybrid mode — the gasoline engine operates on the Atkinson Economy Cycle as a generator and is not connected to the wheels. Two electric motors are responsible for the operation of the all-wheel drive system, and Mitsubishi calls it S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) by analogy with the rally Lancer Evolution. Of course, this is a marketing gimmick, but initially the electronic S-AWC system was set up by the same engineer who was responsible for fine-tuning the mechanical all-wheel drive on the Evo. And in the new generation, the electronic S-AWC should be much more efficient than the traditional one, because the traction vectoring system is implemented with the help of brakes, and there is an electronic imitation of differentials on both the front and rear axles.
On the track, the Outlander PHEV turns into a parallel hybrid — the petrol unit is connected to the front wheels via a single-stage gearbox and aids the electric motors. Since the capacity of the gas tank has been increased by a quarter to 56 liters, the autonomy of a fully charged and refueled crossover is over 900 kilometers! On «pure» electric traction Outlander PHEV can travel 83-87 kilometers, depending on the version, that is, on most daily trips, gasoline can not be wasted at all.
However, it is important to note that the real economy of a plug-in hybrid will depend on many factors. For example, the predecessor, in ideal conditions, consumed no more than 1.5 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, and in the battery charging mode, fuel consumption increased almost tenfold. In the new generation, the hybrid was improved (seven driving modes and five presets for adjusting the kinetic energy recuperation system appeared), taught to ride «with one pedal», but regular fuel economy will still require skill.
In Japan, the crossover will have other uses as well. In the event of a disaster, the Outlander PHEV can be used as a power source. Mitsubishi claims that the SUV will be enough to provide a residential building with electricity for 12 days! There should be no problems with charging either: the battery can be “charged” from a regular outlet in 7.5 hours, and from a “supercharger” — from 0 to 80% in 38 minutes.
Importantly, despite the sophisticated plug-in hybrid powertrain, the new Outlander PHEV has retained the practicality of the regular version. From now on, the interior can be seven-seater, and the ground clearance reaches a solid 200 millimeters. However, the plug-in hybrid is still quite heavy (even the basic version weighs two tons), which means that the dynamic characteristics were not announced by any chance.
In the Land of the Rising Sun, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will go on sale in mid-December at a price of 4.6 to 5.3 million yen (equivalent to 2.9-3.3 million rubles). In 2022, the model will reach the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the United States. Europe is not yet on the list of priority sales markets, and Russia will not be. But we should have a regular fourth-generation gasoline Outlander within the next year.