Mitsubishi Unveils PX-MiEV II Plug-in Hybrid Crossover SUV

By · November 09, 2011

Mitsubishi PX-MiEV II

Mitsubishi unveils plug-in hybrid PX-MiEV II crossover ahead of Tokyo Motor Show world debut.

Mitsubishi Motors will unveil a near production-ready version of a plug-in hybrid crossover at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show in late November. The PX-MiEV II concept provides hints about the look and feel of the upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander Sport crossover that the Japanese automaker will launch in global markets, including a planned release in the US in early 2013. The PX-MiEV II is an evolution of the Mitsubishi PX-MiEV, a vehicle that debuted at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

The PX-MiEV II is described by Mitsubishi as a twin-motor, mid-size, all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid that offers a "long cruising range" and acceleration comparable to a 3.0-liter V6-equipped SUV. The PX-MiEV II concept features a lithium-ion battery pack of undisclosed capacity and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. The twin electric motors pump out 60 kW (80.5 horsepower) each, with one motor spinning the front wheels and the other powering the crossover's rear wheels.

Mitsubishi's targets for the PX-MiEV II include a combined fuel economy rating of 60 kilometers per liter (141 MPGe) under Japan's lenient testing cycle—which is not comparable to US fuel economy rating—and a range of 31 miles in electric-only mode. Total range of plug-in hybrid crossover should reach about 500 miles.

“The plug-in hybrid system uses high-capacity batteries that allow the vehicle to cover over 50 km in all-electric mode alone, allowing it to be driven solely as an EV for most everyday situations. Depending on power consumption and remaining battery charge the system will start the engine automatically as a generator, and the engine can also be used to help drive the wheels as necessary. In addition, with the push of a button, the driver has the freedom to select Battery Drive Mode when he/she wishes to drive quietly and emissions-free (at sufficient battery levels) in residential areas or the countryside using pure EV power. At the same time, the driver can also switch to Battery Charge Mode while on the move, controlling use of battery power and using the engine as a generator to charge the batteries.”

Mitsubishi description of the PX-MiEV II's drive system

The field of upcoming plug-in cars is mostly made up of sedans and smaller cars. The upcoming Toyota RAV4 EV, a pure electric vehicle with 100 or so miles or range, currently is the only plug-in SUV scheduled for production. Ford shifted its plug-in hybrid plans from the Escape PHEV to the C-Max Energi, a smaller platform. This leaves an unfulfilled gap in the market for a more spacious and longer-range plug-in vehicle. Perhaps Mitsubishi will take advantage of this opportunity to become the first—and for some time, the only—provider of a mostly all-wheel-drive electric SUV. Mitsubishi claims that the PX-MiEV II "effectively extinguishes many negative perceptions of SUVs."

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