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Future models - Mitsubishi - GT-PHEV Concept

Paris show: Mitsubishi lobs another SUV concept

All out: Within Mitsubishi’s reshuffled SUV line-up, the GT-PHEV might morph into a production version of the next-generation, larger Outlander.

Mitsubishi continues SUV focus with electrified GT-PHEV Paris show concept

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Mitsubishi logo15 Sep 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

MITSUBISHI has revealed its latest plug-in hybrid SUV concept ahead of the Paris motor show, perhaps providing a glimpse at the next-generation Outlander.

The Japanese car-maker is yet to release the dimensions of the GT-PHEV Concept, but it appears larger than its recent concepts, including the eX from last year’s Tokyo motor show and the XR-PHEV that made its debut at the 2015 Geneva show.

As GoAuto has reported, Mitsubishi will reshuffle its SUV line-up in coming years, with the next-generation Outlander set to move up into the large-SUV category, while the second-gen ASX – previewed by the eX concept – will remain the entry-level crossover.

This leaves room for a new mid-sizer to replace the existing Outlander and to take on the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail. This will be based on the XR-PHEV concept.

The third-generation Outlander is four years old after being launched in late 2012, with a major facelift in April last year.

If the GT-PHEV – for Ground Tourer – becomes a production reality, it will face off against big hitters in the large-SUV segment, including the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder and the forthcoming Holden Acadia and Ford Edge.

Mitsubishi has incorporated its Dynamic Shield front-end design language into the GT-PHEV, giving it a close resemblance to the eX concept with the tiered lower foglights and slimline headlights.

A character line runs from the front wheel arch to the slimline tail-lights that wrap around the rear of the high-rider.

It has a sloping rear windscreen and rounded tailgate, a bold C-pillar treatment, massive wheel arches, while white exterior paint is contrasted with a burgundy roof matching the leather trim inside.

Mitsubishi has not released images of the cabin – that is being saved for its September 29 Paris show debut – but says the vehicle has a horizontal dash for a greater feeling of space and offers a “cockpit-like interior” that wraps around occupants for a “greater feeling of security”.

Powering the GT-PHEV is a new-generation plug-in hybrid system made up of a high-capacity battery package, a specially designed engine with improved electricity regeneration and three high-output, high-efficiency motors, up from the two motors in the existing Outlander PHEV.

Mitsubishi says the three-motor configuration, which includes one unit up the front and two at the rear, makes for a “dramatic performance improvement” of its full-time four-wheel-drive powertrain and Super All Wheel Control vehicle dynamics control system, ensuring better handling stability.

Performance figures are yet to be revealed, but the GT-PHEV has an electric-only range of 120km and a hybrid cruising range of more than 1200km.

The GT-PHEV will also showcase Mitsubishi’s latest connectivity advances.

Data relating to the weather and road conditions is fed to the car via on-board sensors and cameras and other information networks to manage fuel consumption and electricity consumption.

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