Future Models - Mitsubishi 2014 Triton
Geneva show: Mitsubishi reveals diesel hybrid ute
Greener side: The Mitsubishi GR-HEV evolves the current Triton's curvaceous styling, but underneath features a new diesel-electric drivetrain.
Mitsubishi's GR-HEV diesel-electric hybrid previews the 2014 Triton
5 March 2013
MITSUBISHI Motors has revealed the radical diesel-electric GR-HEV concept that gives a solid hint of what to expect from the next-generation Triton double-cab due in 2014.
The curvaceous hybrid ute revealed tonight was the star of the Japanese company’s stand at the Geneva motor show alongside a small EV hatchback with an impressive 300km driving range, called the CA-MiEV.
Both show cars embody Mitsubishi’s so-called ‘Earth Technologies’, and give us a further look at the green drivetrains that will play a major role in the company’s pledge to have at least one electrified version of each model in its range by 2015.
The GR-HEV is said to build on the claimed strengths of the current Triton, retaining the toughness while improving on comfort, performance and – naturally – fuel efficiency.
The front-engine/rear-drive-based diesel-electric hybrid system pairs a 2.5-litre ‘clean diesel’ engine – it is unclear if this is a re-working of the current Triton’s unit of the same capacity or a new engine – with an electric motor and battery pack.
A torque control system is said to enable instant electric motor response, and in doing so provide “superior driving performance”.
Mitsubishi is keeping quiet on drivetrain output, but claims it will keep carbon dioxide emissions to “149 grams per kilometre or below” – 63g/km less than the most efficient diesel variant.
This figure equates to fuel economy of around 5.6 litres per 100km, well below an average work ute of this size.
Speaking of dimensions, at 5420mm long, 1930mm wide and 1775mm long the GR-HEV concept is both longer and wider than the current Triton (by 135mm and 130mm respectively), although both sit on a 3000mm wheelbase.
The company has also designed a next-generation four-wheel-drive system that features the spectrum of traditional high- and low-range gearing (2H, 4H, 4HL and 4LL), plus a system that controls torque delivery to each individual wheel depending on slip.
Handily, the concept is also fitted with an AC power system that eliminates the need for carrying power generators, and comes replete with preventative safety technologies designed to help with forthcoming stringent NCAP crash-test criterion.
Judging by the images revealed tonight, Mitsubishi will continue with a new iteration of the curvaceous ute styling direction established when it revealed the current Triton in 2005.
Aerodynamic sculpted panels around the tray and hi-tech looking tail-light clusters provide a smooth look and muscular proportions, while a curved panel gap that separates the cab from the load area harks back to the current model but more closely integrates the vehicle’s front and rear sections.
Meanwhile, the Ford Fiesta-sized CA-MiEV concept is said to give “an indication of the direction MMC believes EVs will take in the near future”.
The front-drive concept uses an 80kW electric motor supplied by a 28kWh battery with magnetic wireless recharging capability.
A low aerodynamic rating of 0.26Cd coupled with a brake-regeneration system and lightweight components provides an excellent theoretical driving range of 300km.
This is 72km further than the benchmark Nissan Leaf can travel, and almost double the 155km range of Mitsubishi’s first EV, the i-MiEV.
The concept double-header leads a troupe of 15 Mitsubishi models on display in the Swiss city, with another notable inclusion being the production Outlander plug-in hybrid compact SUV, due in Australia later this year.