The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Plug-in Hybrid SUV Crossover is one that environmental enthusiasts around the globe are hoping to get their hands on. This is a vehicle that is expected to reach a combined fuel consumption rating of 143.5 mpg! This will be the world’s first plug-in hybrid offering the on and off-road performance you expect from an SUV, but with the environmental performance that is demanded from an electric vehicle. The high capacity battery will be capable of delivering 1,500 watts, if needed as a power source, and a Battery Charge Mode will charge the battery even while the vehicle is stationary. This is not a vehicle you need to sit around wait all day and night to charge either. A quick charge socket will allow it to charge to 80 percent in only 30 minutes. The powertrain will consider remaining power charge and driving conditions to select one of three drive modes. EV Drive Mode operates solely on electricity delivering zero CO2 emissions and absolutely no fuel consumption. Series Hybrid Mode allows the engine to act as a generator to supply the electric motors with electricity. When the battery charger falls below a specific level, the powertrain will switch to this level, such as climbing a steep gradient or passing on the highway. Lastly, Parallel Hybrid Mode will kick in for high-speed driving to provide peak performance.
There is rumor that the plug-in will feature much of the higher end technology features as standard equipment, but this is purely speculation at this point. Either standard or optional, you can expect to find:
• Audio - Rockford Fosgate® premium system with 710 watts of power, eight speakers, one subwoofer, digital signal processor, six-disc CD player, USB connection and speed sensitive volume control.
• Navigation - Get to where you need to go with vibrantly colored maps and turn-by-turn directions.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - An optional rear seat entertainment system will keep passengers in the back entertained with movies or video games. Two sets of wireless headphones with remotes are included.
• Rearview Camera - You never have to guess at what is behind you with this feature. The rearview camera displays a view from behind your vehicle when you shift into reverse.
There is no way of knowing how the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid will score in crash or braking tests. If it remains comparable to the regular Outlander, consumers can expect a “Good” rating in front and side protection, but an “Average” rating in roof strength. One can only expect to find the following safety features:
• Rearview camera
• LATCH system for children
• Rise body construction
• Active stability control
• Rear park assist sensors
• Self-leveling headlights
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Dusk-sensing headlamps
• Seatbelt pretensions
• Engine immobilizer
• Turn signal mirrors
As of now, the Outlander PHEV will look very much like the regular one with sophisticated and gracefully sculpted lines, but there will likely be small variations to make it distinct, especially with the wheels. The exterior is not overdone, but offers plenty of attention to detail with black painted roof rails and color-keyed mirrors, doors handles and bumpers.
Once again, consumers can likely expect a few variations to the interior from the regular model, but the general design will remain the same. There is sure to be an information screen that will display all the hybrid mechanics, offer tips and let you know when you are driving in the most fuel-efficient way. It isn’t set in stone whether the hybrid model is going to offer the third row seat on certain trims, but even if it does, it should be noted that it won’t be practical for much more than children. Seats in the first two rows are comfortable and roomy with plenty of leg and head room.
As long as no interior dimensions change, which they shouldn’t, Outlander PHEV will offer a generous 73 cubic feet of space behind the front row seats. With all three rows in place, 14.9 cubes can be enjoyed.