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ASX might be next Mitsubishi to plug in

Green off-roader: Mitsubishi's PX-MiEV concept might not just point to the plug-in hybrid Outlander, but electric ASX as well.

2012 debut likely for electrified ASX as Mitsubishi cranks up plug-in models

9 Jun 2011

A PLUG-IN hybrid version of the Mitsubishi ASX compact SUV might beat a similarly electrified version of the Japanese manufacturer’s Outlander on to the Australian market, potentially arriving in as little as 12 months.

Although the petrol-electric Outlander has been confirmed for Australia alongside its petrol and diesel siblings in 2013, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd (MMAL) today hinted that it has its eyes on another plug-in SUV that could arrive in 2012, which would make it the second electrified Mitsubishi vehicle to go on sale on this market after the all-electric i-MiEV city car that today was confirmed for an August debut.

An all-electric powertrain option is also expected in the Colt-replacing Global Small car at some point after the conventional petrol variant is launched next year.

These vehicles will be among eight EV or plug-in hybrid vehicles to be produced by the Japanese manufacturer by 2015, spreading across the range as Mitsubishi attempts to cut its average CO2 emissions in half by 2020.

The i-MiEV city car will pave the way, although in strictly limited volumes of just five cars a month due to global demand.

MMAL vice president of corporate strategy Paul Stevenson confirmed at today’s i-MiEV launch announcement in Melbourne that a plug-in hybrid optional powertrain could be expected in the all-new Outlander in 2013.

21 center imageFrom top: Mitsubishi ASX exterior and interior, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi 'Global Small' concept.

But he said MMAL was awaiting confirmation of another electrified SUV that might arrive in the next 12 to 18 months, meaning it could arrive in mid-to-late 2012.

Although he declined to elaborate, he was most likely referring to a plug-in hybrid ASX, which might share many of its electrical components with the plug-in Outlander due in 2013.

All Mitsubishi models will get either full-electric or plug-in petrol-electric hybrid powertrains as an option alongside conventional petrol and diesel engines.

The plug-in Outlander is expected to be based on the PX-MiEV concept first shown at the 2009 Tokyo motor show and which will be shown at this year's Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

That vehicle was said to have a range of 50km on battery power before a 1.6-litre petrol engine kicked in to generate electricity for longer journeys.

Although powering the front wheels in normal driving, the PX-MiEV can switch to all-wheel drive by powering an electric motor on the rear axle when wheel slip is detected.

Mitsubishi says this technology will allow SUV owners to retain their active lifestyles while at the same time reducing their impact on the environment.

Like the i-MiEV, the electrified version of the new Global Small car will dispense with a petrol engine altogether and go full electric.

Dubbed ‘e-compact’ when it was revealed in 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol form at the recent Geneva motor show, the new car will be built in Thailand from early 2012.

No details of the electric version have been provided, but it almost certainly will get second-generation lithium-ion batteries and the latest electric powertrain technology when it arrives on world markets.

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