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Paris show: Mitsubishi outs Outlander Concept

Out there: Bold lines and lots of chrome have carried over from previous Mitsubishi concepts to this one, but the Outlander PHEV Concept-S looks like the closest to a production model.

Outlander PHEV Concept-S could foretell facelift for Mitsubishi's mid-size SUV


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23 Sep 2014

MITSUBISHI has unveiled its Outlander PHEV Concept-S plug-in hybrid SUV ahead of its official global debut at the Paris motor show next month.

The first look at the vehicle exposes in full a design direction which started with a trio of concepts revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, and was teased in two shady images earlier this month.

Based on the current Outlander PHEV production model, the Concept-S takes the same twin electric motor and 2.0-litre petrol engine hybrid powertrain and adds a new, more contemporary interior and exterior look.

The show car appears to be close to a production-ready version but Mitsubishi has not yet confirmed if the new version will lend its styling to hybrid versions of the Outlander only, or if it will feature on the entire range including petrol and diesel powered variants.

As previously reported Mitsubishi is describing the styling as a “special design package” for the Outlander PHEV, which could mean it will be limited to plug-in versions.

Despite its production model underpinnings, the Concept-S has grown in every dimension, with a 20mm increase in height, 40mm added to the width and nearly 100mm extension of its length. Wheelbase remains the same at 2670mm.

Mitsubishi says its new design represents the safety of its SUVs, inspired by a “protective theme” and is presented in a large-flake pearlescent finish it calls Platinum White.

A luxurious interior also accompanies the exterior overhaul, with quilted Burgundy leather applied to all five seats (no mention is made of a third row), dashboard and door-trims.

A bold black and silver woodgrain veneer complements the red leather with door, dash and center console cappings.

The cabin changes appear to be limited to aesthetic upgrades only, with only a more heavily switch-laden and sportier steering wheel serving as the only functional difference.

The Japanese car-maker has confirmed the vehicle will sit alongside seven Mitsubishi production models, a racing version of the Outlander PHEV and one other concept – the XR-PHEV – on the Paris show stage.

Some of the styling cues seen on the XR-PHEV have filtered into the Outlander Concept-S, such as the continuous chrome line that runs through the headlight to the fog-light or brake-duct via the radiator grille.

Mitsubishi may be adopting the eye-catching signature as a brand-highlighting range-wide feature as many other manufacturers do with their own designs.

Of the nine models on show in Paris, just two of the vehicles will be non-SUV models marking Mitsubishi's ongoing focus on the high-riding 4WD and crossover segments.

The Paris motor show opens its doors in early October.

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