MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has followed up details of its latest Outlander SUV with the recent teasing of its new-gen Outlander PHEV that, for the first time, can seat up to seven occupants.
Based on the all-new fourth-generation Outlander expected in Australia later this year, the PHEV will score all the same features and be visually identical to its internal combustion stablemate except for the right-side flap covering the charging port.
The latest PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is expected to launch in Australia early in 2022. No pricing has been announced yet but you can expect at least small margin over the current three-grade Outlander PHEV portfolio which ranges from $47,990-$56,490 plus costs.
It will replace the existing PHEV drivetrain with a new hybrid system that includes more powerful electric motors and increased battery capacity for a greater EV-only range.
The latest Outlander generation sits on a new platform shared with the next-gen Nissan X-Trail (here early 2022) and even uses the same 2.5-litre engine rated at 135kW/245Nm (non-PHEV, up from the current 124kW/220Nm 2.4-litre) and eight-step continuously-variable transmission (CVT).
The same engine is expected to feature in the PHEV, albeit modified to suit the hybrid role.
The current version is powered by a 94kW/199Nm 2.4-litre petrol engine which is then boosted by two electric motors – one at the front (60kW/137Nm) and one at the rear (70kW/195Nm).
The PHEV development has taken on board the relatively poor sales in the US compared with a rising number of rivals.
One of the Outlander’s bugs is its relatively short electric-only range of 39km (in the US) – a range of 54km is quoted for Australia – bettered by rivals including the popular Toyota RAV4 Prime (68km), Ford Escape (61km) and Hyundai Tucson (51km).
Mitsubishi is said to equip the next Outlander PHEV with a bigger battery – up from the current 13.8kW/h unit – and aim for an all-electric range of close to a 100km.
The other issue main gripe – cabin space – has been solved with the next-gen PHEV set to have seating for seven, matching its petrol siblings.
Cabin features will be the same for the incoming petrol Outlander, with the main difference being a different instrument panel with extra gauges and battery details.
It will also score the attractive cabin design boasting a 12.3-inch (or 9.0-inch depending on trim level) LCD and 7.0-inch multi-information screen, plus a 10.8-inch colour head-up display.
Like the petrol Outlander, the PHEV will feature the 10-speaker BOSE premium sound system on the higher variants. It will also carry a comprehensive safety kit full of the all the usual active and passive features.