The 2013 Outlander marks the beginning of a generation of all-new global products for Mitsubishi Motors, in line with Mitsubishi’s “Jump 2013″, the business plan for a greener and more global Mitsubishi.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander is very reminiscent of the Concept PX-MiEV II. The design brief is identical, the highlights being that it should be an “engineer’s car” with a “Solid – Safe – Simple”.
The high flanks, raised beltline, uncluttered surfaces or soft-contoured fenders minus strong wheel arches are the identifying design features on the car.
The most distinct design feature has to be the front grille. Mitsubishi says the hockey-shaped chromed strips (probably a reference to ice hockey sticks) seem to be milled directly from solid brass as if to shield the Three-Diamond logo and are placed bang in-between the feline lines of the sculptured wraparound headlamps.
As with the previous generation Outlander, premium materials grace the interior. Padded surfaces, soft-touch finish, silver or wood accents, gloss black surfaces are all part of the package.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander was designed on a versatile platform, capable of accommodating various powertrains including Mitsubishi’s P-HEV, the EV-based plug-in hybrid technology. Mitsubishi will offer the 150PS 2.0 litre 4J11 MIVEC petrol that has been upgraded with a new valve train as well as the 150PS 2.2 litre Clean Diesel codenamed 4N14. The diesel mill packs a host of technologies including ultra-low 14.9:1 compression ratio, all geared to deliver high performance and lowered emissions. In addition to these, on offer will also be the EV-based plug-In hybrid powertrain.
This powertrain can be run in different modes :
- Pure :Twin Motor 4WD EV
- Series : Twin Motor 4WD EV supported by a petrol engine, that will act as a generator
- Parallel : Twin Motor 4WD EV supplemented by the petrol engine powering the front wheels
Mitsubishi also claims that this would make the Outlander the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production.
The high capacity traction batteries define a range of 50km in 4WD ‘Pure’ mode. Depending on power consumption and remaining battery charge, the system will start the petrol engine automatically as a generator, switching to ‘Series Mode’. At higher vehicle speeds the petrol engine, with its better high-end energy efficiency, will supply supplementary drive torque to assist the front and rear motors, the ‘Parallel Mode’.
Driver can also select the “Battery Drive Mode” with the push of a button, to use pure EV power or “Battery Charge Mode” while on the move to use the engine as a generator to charge the batteries.
Regenerative braking is of course present, to recover kinetic energy and use it to charge the traction battery. Mitsubishi Motors’ P-HEV system uses a newly developed twin-motor four-wheel-drive system mated to Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control). Based on the four-wheel-drive technology developed in the legendary Lancer Evolution, S-AWC integrates control of the 4WD, ASC and ABS systems. Working in tandem with the Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid EV system, S-AWC also contributes to better fuel efficiency.
The two motors drive the front and rear axles independently. The Twin Motor 4WD system does away with the mechanical bits like the propeller shaft, hydraulic system and clutch plate used to connect the front and rear axles in conventional 4WD systems and offers virtually lag free performance. Mitsubishi’s P-HEV system as with other electric powertrains gives the torque right off-the-line with acceleration comparable to that of a 3.0-liter V6 engine, says Mitsubishi. The twin electric motor setup will guarantee the smooth progression required in difficult wintery driving conditions.
All-new Automatic Stop & Go system should drive up the fuel efficiency. Though we doubts the availability in India, there is on the options list an all-new 6-speed automatic gearbox. India, probably will get the 6 speed manual trasmission. The new Outlander has also lost weight in a number of places which should again be good for FE, and lower emissions.
Safety features include Adaptive Cruise Control system, Forward Collision Mitigation system, that detects obstacles on the road ahead of the car and automatically applies the brakes to help preventing a collision and Lane Departure Warning system.
The new Outlander comes with the Super-HiD “Wide Vision” xenon headlamps that are 1.4 times more powerful than conventional HID headlights, they provide a 1,350-lumen beam that shines over an extremely wide area of 80°x 2 in total, instead of the 42° x 2 of conventional HiDs.
While there have been reports of the current gen Outlander getting the dreadful looking third row jump seats in India, Mitsubishi has done away with these jump seats in the 2013 model in favour of a wide and comfortable 3rd row 50/50 split seating. The Outlander also gets dual zone air conditioner.
When the 2nd and 3rd seats are folded down you get a fully flat 1.69m long floor which is 335mm longer than that in the previous generation Outlander. A one-piece power tail gate also features in the options list.
A tilt adjustable telescopic steering column and a rear view display incorporated in the central console completes the features list.
Note that all features mentioned in this article may not make it to the Indian market.
Mitsubishi has said the 2013 Outlander will debut in Russia, this summer, prior to European (late summer), Japanese, Oceania, Chinese and North American debuts. There has been no official word on the Indian debut, but it wouldn’t be far fetched to see this beast on our shores sometime in 2013.