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Future models - Mitsubishi - Outlander - PHEV

Updated Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV here 2017

Out here: Mitsubishi revealed the updated Outlander PHEV in June, but it has now confirmed the new look plug-in will be coming to Australian showrooms at a point in 2017.

Facelift to stoke ‘above expectation’ Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales next year

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Mitsubishi logo16 Aug 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

MITSUSBISHI Australia will next year treat the plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander mid-sized SUV to a tech update and facelift that has already rolled out in Japan.

More precise timing is still being finalised by the Japanese car-maker along with pricing for the fresh PHEV, but when it arrives it will join the diesel and two petrol variants already wearing the new-look exterior, which adopts the Mitsubishi “dynamic shield” family resemblance.

For the update, the PHEV will reduce its already frugal appetite for petrol by about another 8.0 per cent, and while Australian testing may produce a slightly different result to the Japanese figure, economy is still expected to be in the region of 1.8 litres per 100km.

In addition to the aesthetic and efficiency update, the PHEV will get improved throttle response and acceleration, while a small enhancement to battery capacity and range will see the high-rider sail up to 60km on electric only power.

Speaking to GoAuto, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) head of corporate communications Shayna Welsh confirmed that the updated Outlander PHEV was on the way but exact timing would follow.

“We’re still waiting on confirmation for the arrival date but we are still keen to get our hands on it,” she said. “We expect Outlander PHEV updates will arrive sometime next year but we don’t have any dates confirmed at this stage.” Ms Welsh explained that stock of the existing range was still available in Australia, but no more examples would be ordered from the factory until the facelifted version was available to MMAL.

The market for plug-ins, hybrids and EVs of any kind is still relatively uncharted Down Under, but Ms Welsh said that Australians had extended a warmer welcome than had been forecast.

“Last year we averaged about 50 units a month and that was an indication of early interest in that particular model and technology. It’s actually ahead of our sales plan so it has performed above our expectation.” While sales have dipped under the initial 2015 tally this year, Ms Welsh said government organisations and local councils were showing an interest in the model and could maintain more steady sales until the updated version arrives.

As has been experienced with the updated petrol and diesel variants, the new-look PHEV is expected to generate new interest and demand for the electrified version.

“If we look at what it’s been doing this year, there has been a lot more business coming from corporate and council organisations so there’s been a bit more interest from that sector,” said Ms Welsh.

“We’ve already had expressions of interest for the new model from councils and government organisations.” The update will also bring a number of safety enhancements to the plug-in, including a system to prevent a driver inadvertently accelerating toward an obstacle in forward or reverse gears, as well as a 360-degree camera.

Differentiating the PHEV from conventionally powered Outlanders are unique two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels and an exclusive option of Ruby Black Pearl exterior paintwork.

Inside are redesigned seats with contrast stitching matching that of the padded door and instrument cluster trims, while the steering wheel is wrapped in seamless leather and features chrome-look switchgear.

Combined sales of combustion and hybrid Outlanders continue to resonate well with Australian SUV punters with 6448 finding hitting local driveways to the end of July this year. The model is Mitsubishi’s third best performer, sitting behind the ASX (9905) and Triton one-tonner (13,771) for the same period.

The car-maker will make an announcement this week detailing future government and corporate organisation, which is expected to reveal the details of fleet contracts struck by Mitsubishi.

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