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Geneva show: Mitsubishi teases hybrid next-gen Triton

Cute ute: Mitsubishi looks set to carry on with curvaceous ute styling on the next-gen Triton if the GR-HEV concept is anything to go by.

Mitsubishi concepts to preview hybrid nex-gen Triton ute, i-MiEV successor at Geneva

Mitsubishi logo14 Feb 2013

TWO Mitsubishi concepts to be unveiled at next month’s Geneva motor show look set to preview the next-generation Triton one-tonne ute and successor to the all-electric i-MiEV city runabout.

The Japanese company has provided a single close-up teaser image of the diesel-electric GR-HEV Sport Utility Hybrid Truck concept and a shadowy front-on image of the CA-MiEV Suburban EV.

Mitsubishi considers the next logical step after its plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV SUV to be a truck that is “even larger, tougher (and) sportier with both work and leisure in mind”.

The one-tonne hybrid ute concept uses an efficient diesel engine and electric motors said to be simpler and more affordable than the plug-in system of the Outlander and better suited to the “heavy-duty daily requirements of pickup truck users”.

With a target CO2 output of 149 grams per kilometre, the hybrid ute concept emits up to 109g/km less than the current petrol Triton, or 63g/km less than the most efficient diesel variant.

A hybrid ute is highly likely to reach production and go on sale in Australia, given Mitsubishi’s pledge to have at least one electrified version of each model in its range by 2015.

21 center imageMitsubishi CA-MiEV concept

Of course, the ute is fitted with four-wheel drive, using Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control system and sophisticated vehicle dynamics control systems to “deliver high stability traction and driving performance under all road conditions”.

Judging by the single image released so far, Mitsubishi will move forward with the curvaceous ute styling direction established when it revealed the current Triton in 2005.

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.

The door panels pinch inward below the ute’s waist level to make way for integrated side-steps and the upward sweep of the window line is accentuated by a sharp crease in the metalwork beneath.

Mitsubishi’s CA-MiEV Suburban EV concept is the result of three years of feedback from global i-MiEV customers and improvements to battery and electric drivetrain technology.

The company says its next-generation compact EV will take this category of vehicle “beyond a mostly urban environment”.

Lightweight and aerodynamic, the EV concept is said to deliver a driving range of more than 300km, which Mitsubishi says is suitable for daily life in suburban and country areas.

It also showcases wireless inductive charging technology and smartphone activated functions.

The image of the Suburban EV concept gives little away apart from the fact it maintains i-MiEV’s tall silhouette but has a wider, more planted stance and large illuminated panels beneath the main headlights.

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