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Tokyo show: Mitsubishi outs trio of concepts

Big future: The next-generation is previewed by the GC-PHEV concept that is one of three concepts Mitsubishi will display at this year’s Tokyo show.

Fresh images and powertrain details emerge for Mitsubishi’s three Tokyo concepts

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Mitsubishi logo4 Nov 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

MITSUBISHI has revealed images and powertrain details for its Tokyo show triple-threat ahead of a public debut in two weeks at the annual Japanese auto extravaganza.

The trio of hybrid-powered concepts showcases Mitsubishi’s future design language and previews next-generation versions of some of its most popular production models.

The full-colour images follow on from the grainy rendering the Japanese car-maker released last month with limited details of the three concepts.

The hulking GC-PHEV looks set to become the three-diamond brand’s next Pajero off-roader, replacing the current model that started life back in 2000 before a major upgrade in 2006.

Powering the full-size SUV concept is a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 MIVEC engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a plug-in hybrid system, which will use a full-time all-wheel drive system.

Mitsubishi says this “high-output motor and high-capacity battery” will deliver “all-terrain performance truly worthy of an all-round SUV”.

The GC-PHEV – short for ‘Grand Cruiser’ – will use Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (SAWC) system for added traction control.

The smaller of the three concepts – the chunky XR-PHEV – provides a glimpse at the next-generation ASX compact-SUV and features a large gaping grille, slim-line headlights and a coupe-like silhouette.

The front-wheel drive XR (short for Cross Runner) is powered by a downsized 1.1-litre turbocharged MIVEC engine combined with a plug-in hybrid system that Mitsubishi says is a “lightweight, compact and high-efficiency motor with a high-capacity battery”.

Mitsubishi looks set to return to the people-mover segment with the Concept AR, or ‘Active Runabout’, previewing the company’s next compact-MPV. Combining “SUV maneuverability with MPV roominess”, the AR uses a mild hybrid system with a 1.1-litre turbocharged MIVEC engine.

Mitsubishi sold the Nimbus MPV between 1984 and 2004 before dumping it in favour of the more stylish Grandis people-mover, until it was discontinued locally in 2010. The AR is expected to be more compact than the car-maker’s previous MPV models.

Each of the concepts will feature Mitsubishi’s ‘e-Assist’ safety technology with the ‘connected car’ connectivity system. This technology includes a danger detection system that activates relevant safety functions and a system that detects a mechanical failure and warns the driver to seek repairs.

Mitsubishi is yet to details production plans for any of the three concepts, but more information will come to light at the Tokyo motor show later this month.

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