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D:X concept a Mitsubishi Delica replacement?

All-electric D:X concept points to the electrified future of Mitsubishi’s popular people mover

26 Oct 2023

MITSUBISHI has used the Tokyo Motor Show to display some funky new product including the world premiere of its electrified, D:X Crossover Concept, a potential replacement for the much-loved Delica van, in multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) six-seat configuration.


Mitsubishi says the bolshy-looking one-box concept car “inspires a sense of adventure” promoting its capabilities in various off road environments including desert and snow.


The D:X Concept display showed vehicles equipped with “adventure” accessories such as integrated roof top-boxes, lug tyres, side rails and protective front and rear bumpers that imparted a requisite “tough” look.


Mitsubishi admits the car itself is designed to hint at a Delica of the future, combining the convenient, pleasant, and roomy cabin space of an MPV with the road handling of an SUV.


It says D:X provides the powerful and comfortable driving performance of a PHEV with no limits to the activities it can take on, the D:X said to be able to support an active mobility lifestyle with reliable service for various adventures.


The model channels Delica in terms of space and passenger safety and brings those parameters into the future providing “boundaryless adventure” along the way with its roomy cabin and a protective body to keep it and occupants safe.


In another head nod to the Delica, Mitsubishi adorns the D:X Concept with side window graphics extending from the front of the cabin to the D-pillar while interior space is amplified by the model’s front window that wraps around to the bottom.


Designers mandated sturdy over fenders (bumpers) and large-diameter (chunky) tyres for the D:X Concept that convey a sense of strength, while the front and rear skid plates and side-step protectors may actually give body protection in the rough.


The Mitsubishi family Dynamic Shield front face design is used, further evolved to protect the cabin with an integrated shield that extends from the sides, with another skid plate providing enhanced protection.


Lighting is by projection lasers with distinctive T-shape lights that extend to both ends creating the impression of width. 


The show cars featured a copper body colour with a new semi-gloss texture with a semi-military overtone.


Described as a monobox the D:X Concept’s interior is said to provide ample room for all six occupants in panoramic seats that rotate and move up and down while the windscreen and see-through bonnet afford an open, wide field of vision like an “aerial cockpit” that offers an “unprecedented driving experience as if floating in the air.”


Mitsubishi plumped for panoramic seats because they can be moved in a range of directions for an optimal seating position that gives a high eye position to ensure adequate forward visibility that not only makes driving easier but creates a sense of openness.


Adding a degree of practicality are the front seats that can be rotated backward for a “conversational interior”.


The see-through bonnet, which extends from the lower front windscreen glass to the bottom, displays a range of information HUD-style such as the road surface conditions ahead and the turn angle of the front tyres.


That is in addition to providing an open and expansive field of vision with safety and ease of operation benefits.


The concept boasts a voice-interactive AI concierge that provides information on routes to destinations, weather conditions and other information to help ensure a safe and stress-free driving experience.


The interior has a premium feel provided by tan-coloured genuine leather used for the instrument panel and seats, while the metal parts in alumite grey are used as accents to express a sense of high quality.


Underlining the premium interior is a new generation sound system developed in cooperation with Yamaha Corporation that delivers powerful, three-dimensional sound through numerous speakers positioned in the headrests and other appropriate locations for an immersive in-cabin experience.


Chassis strength is augmented using a reinforced rib-bone frame with a circular framework structure. Motive power tech’ is lifted from existing Mitsubishi inventory including the S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system that is adopted for the electric 4WD system.


It optimises driving in any weather or road conditions that Mitsu’ says allows drivers to embark on various adventures with peace of mind.


Power comes from what Mitsubishi describes as an environmentally friendly PHEV system that features a full EV mode for daily use and hybrid mode for long-distance trips. Details of the powertrain were unavailable at the model’s premiere but it may be a lift of the PHEV system from Mitsubishi's Outlander.


“The Mitsubishi D:X Concept is a concept car that brings together the best of Mitsubishi Motors’ technologies – our electrification and all-wheel control technologies in particular – with a view to realising a carbon-neutral society,” said Mitsubishi Motors president and CEO, Takao Kato.


“We will continue to provide fulfilling mobility lifestyles that awaken the adventurous spirit of drivers and provide excitement for everyone on board.”

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