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Plug-in Mitsubishi Outlander to be cheaper than Volt

Cheap electricity: Mitsubishi’s plug-in Outlander PX-MiEV uses electricity to drive the wheels in most cases and the petrol engine can switch from acting purely as a generator to directly powering the wheels if required.

Pioneering 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid to have ‘mainstream’ pricing

24 Aug 2012

MITSUBISHI’S world-first plug-in hybrid SUV, the Outlander PX-MiEV, should be cheaper than Holden’s Volt and capable of driving between Melbourne and Sydney without stopping when the petrol-electric model arrives in Australia in April or May next year.

The company estimates the vehicle's driving range at 800km, depending on speed and conditions, which would cover the distance between Australia’s two largest cities.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd (MMAL) has promised the plug-in Outlander – the first SUV of its type to go into series production – will not only have a greater driving range than the 600km of Holden’s upcoming plug-in range-extender Volt hatchback, but will be cheaper than the $59,990 Holden.

MMAL product and planning manager Tony Principe told journalists at this week’s media launch of the facelifted Lancer and ASX: “It will be a lot lower than that (Volt). Our intention is to get this down into the mainstream.”

21 center imageFrom top: Mitsubishi PX-MiEV concept Mitsubishi Outlander.

The plug-in Outlander will replace the V6 variants in the current range, although Mr Principe said the new petrol-electric model would provide V6 performance but with greater fuel savings.

The current Outlander 3.0 VRX flagship is priced at $52,640, which could be indicative of the PX-MiEV price range.

Final pricing will not be announced for the plug-in Outlander until closer to the PX-MiEV variant’s launch, which will cap the all-new Outlander range that will kick off in this country with a public debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October.

The petrol and – for this first time here – diesel Outlander variants will go on sale in the final quarter of this year, with the plug-in PX-MiEV capping the range in the middle of next year.

The Outlander is a critical new model for Mitsubishi, which has struggled to maintain its sales position with ageing products against an increasingly strident opposition.

Sales of the current model has been steady over the past year or two, but because of the rampant growth in the compact SUV segment, Outlander’s market share has slipped from 9.3 per cent at this time last year to 7.7 per cent this year.

The new Outlander will mark the debut in the local Mitsubishi line-up of advanced technologies such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation, probably only on top models.

The big news with be the plug-in technology that Mitsubishi plans to spread across other models in time.

Mr Principe said the electric range of the Outlander PX-MiEV would be about 50km – short of the Volt’s estimated 87km – with the petrol engine then kicking in to extend the range to an estimated 800km.

The official combined fuel economy test is expected to show a reading of just 1.66 litres per 100km, compared with the current benchmark Toyota Prius hybrid’s 3.9L/100km.

The Mitsubshi is expected to emit less than 50 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre on the test cycle, compared with Prius’s 89g/km.

The Outlander PX-MiEV will be equipped with an all-new petrol engine, working in tandem with two electric motors, one in the front and the other at the back.

The electric motors will drive the vehicle under normal conditions, with the petrol engine working as a generator to charge the lithium-ion batteries.

However, the engine can also drive the front wheels directly when extra driving force is needed.

Mr Principe said the switching between modes was seamless on the road.

The new Outlander will be bigger than the current generation, coming in 2WD and 4WD in the petrol-powered models with a choice of base 2.0-litre or 2.4-litre four-cylinder engines.

The all new diesel will be 2.2 litre, making it bigger than the 1.8-litre version now offered in the smaller ASX.

The 2.0-litre 2WD models will have five seats, with the 2.4-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel variants getting seven seats, with a more spacious and versatile third row, with a split-folding seat back.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi has announced an enhancement pack and driveaway pricing for its run-out Outlander LS, which gains leather seat trim, heated powered front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment, Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels and a full-sized alloy spare wheel.

The two-wheel-drive Outlander LS also gets the side and curtain airbags that are already standard on four-wheel drive models.

Pricing for the special edition starts at $28,990 driveaway – $350 above the standard Outlander manual 2WD list price.

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