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Paris show: More details for Mitsubishi GT-PHEV

Ground force: Mitsubishi’s Paris show SUV concept has three electric motors and a 2.4-litre engine for a dynamic drive that focusses on the black-top and not the dirt track.

Mitsubishi opens up GT-PHEV concept cabin and SUV drivetrain secrets


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29 Sep 2016

MITSUBISHI has continued to trickle out tantalising details of its GT-PHEV concept at the Paris motor show, with a first look at its interior and some hybrid tech information joining the initial exterior view that was offered last week.

With the barn-style doors now flung open, the so-called Ground Tourer concept is showing off its deep red and black leather upholstery, stadium-type second-row seating as well as a flying central console adorned with low-profile controls and large digital driver’s displays.

The Japanese car-maker appears to have taken a leaf out of Tesla’s book and replaced most mechanical switches with multi-function touchscreens and pads, while the rotating gear and terrain selectors are clearly inspired by the Jaguar Land Rover approach.

Flanking the central instrument cluster are a pair of smaller monitors for displaying the images from mirror-replacing cameras. The main monitor is primarily for displaying vehicle information such as speed and energy flow, but can be switched for a navigation map or entertainment options, similarly to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.

A head-up display adds to the information available to the driver and minimises the need to look away from the road.

In addition to the first glimpse at its cabin, Mitsubishi has outlined some of the less visible features of the GT-PHEV concept including its four-wheel drive combustion-electric drivetrain.

At the core of the PHEV system is a 2.4-litre engine but Mitsubishi does not reveal what fuels the combustion unit. It works in conjunction with a 90kW motor on the front axle, a pair of 40kW motors at the rear and a 25kWh battery.

According to Mitsubishi, the engine delivers best thermal efficiency when running in Series Mode but has more of a performance focus when switched to Parallel Mode.

A Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system manages the flexible powertrain including which wheel receives torque, the balance of power between electric and combustion, and is comprised of the AFD torque split controller, AYC yaw controller, ASC and S-AWC systems.

Multi-speed electric and hybrid transmissions are increasingly popular in the latest electrified vehicles and the GT-PHEV is the latest to weigh in to the efficiency and performance-boosting technology with a two-speed transaxle.

With all systems working together, Mitsubishi says the GT-PHEV has both exhilarating performance and agile handling on the road as well as the ability to safely negotiate more treacherous surfaces such as dirt and snow-covered roads. The car-maker does not detail any actual off-road ability.

Grille shutters similar to the ones used in BMW’s 7 Series increase aerodynamic efficiency at higher speeds but can open to allow more air flow when the engine and electrical management system is under load and needs maximum cooling.

The concept’s suspension system is also speed sensitive and can lower the vehicle height at speed for reduced drag and a lower centre of gravity, while allowing more ground clearance at slower speeds.

The net result is a pure electric range of 120km or a tenfold range of 1200km on a full fuel tank and battery.

While the Ground Tourer uses a raft of more conventional sensors and electronic stability systems, it also adds in another source of data by using its array of cameras and navigation technology to improve reaction to potential hazards as well.

When a destination is entered into the system, the connected car technology can alter the way the car performs, uses energy and responds to the environment using real-time data.

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