Mitsubishi Releases Details on 2014 Outlander Plug-in Hybrid
Yesterday, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it will officially launch its Outlander plug-in hybrid starting in Japan on January 24, 2013. The Outlander PHEV will make its way to the U.S. sometime in 2014, with the same specs as the Japanese model.
Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV will be its "most important vehicle sold in decades." Indeed, the company has an opportunity to fill a gap in the market: the four-wheel-drive crossover SUV plug-in hybrid. Toyota is now offering its RAV4 EV, and Tesla will sell the Model X sometime in 2014. But those two vehicles are pure electric cars, not ideally suited to the full spectrum of short- and long-distance driving. (Tesla's nation-wide supercharger network should be fully installed by 2014, and will make the Model X relatively practical for road trips—but at a price well above the expected cost of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.)
Powered by Mitsubishi's Plug-in Hybrid EV System, the Outlander PHEV combines two 60-kW independent electric motors, a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and the automaker's 2.0-liter four-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine, which is rated at 117 horsepower and 137 pound-feet of torque. Mitsubishi claims that the Outlander PHEV will feature an electric-only range of around 37 miles, combined fuel efficiency of 175 mpg, and hybrid fuel efficiency of about 44 mpg. These specs are based on Japan's lenient JC08 test cycle.
In Japan, the Outlander PHEV will have a base MSRP of ¥3,324,000 to ¥4,297,000 ($38,972 to $50,380 U.S. at today's exchange rate), including consumption tax. The Outlander PHEV will immediately qualify for Japan’s "eco-car" incentives and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s "subsidies for measures designed to promote introduction of clean energy vehicles." Those incentives will reduce the effective price of the Outlander PHEV by about $5,000, which means the plug-in crossover's effective starting price is approximately $34,000.
According to Mitsubishi, quick-charging will be a factory option, as will a system that allows the Outlander PHEV to supply power to external sources at 100 volts AC and up to 1,500 watts.
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