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Mitsubishi PHEV ready to come home for Christmas

Plug-in version of Outlander SUV features electric motor at each axle

Published: September 28, 2017, 10:40 PM
Updated: October 4, 2017, 2:09 AM

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV badge

It looks like a Christmas debut for Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid Outlander, coming to Canada with a price tag of $42,998.

For that price (for the entry point SE), the twin-electric motor, all-wheel drive sport utility is stocked with a power driver’s seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-folding side mirrors, blind-spot warning, rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, heated front seats and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, among others. And it’s all covered by Mitsubishi’s 5-year/160,000 km comprehensive warranty, and includes the company’s notable 10-year/160,000 km powertrain warranty that here also includes the electric motors and battery.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

“The Outlander PHEV is the most anticipated new-product in our history,” said Tony Laframboise, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. “A runaway success all over the world, it’s coming to Canada complete with Mitsubishi Motors’ top technological advances, all the best attributes of our highly successful Outlander model, and a pricing strategy that is sure to win over consumers.”

Adding a Touring Package to the SE adds a power sunroof, leather seating, power front passenger seat, heated steering wheel, and LED headlamps and fog lamps, for an added cost of $3,000.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV IP screen

Stepping up to the top-of-the-line GT adds another $4,000 to the price, but also adds forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, multi-view camera system, power liftgate, a Rockford-Fosgate audio system, auto high beams and a 1,500-watt power inverter (to power household electric accessories).

The 80-cell 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (located beneath the floor of the cabin) can charge to 80% charge in half an hour, thanks to the vehicle’s fast-charging connection. Charging the Outlander PHEV through a 120V wall socket takes about eight hours, and doing it through a 240V outlet reduces that to about four.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV port

The battery pack powers two full-time 60-kW electric motors (one at each of the axles) to supply Super All-Wheel-Control (all-wheel-drive) propulsion to the Outlander PHEV. The front motor is positioned on the left side of the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine (where the transaxle would be on non-hybrid models). The paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel control the strength of the regenerative braking system, allowing the driver to select up to six levels of energy capture through braking.

The SUV can operate in EV drive mode to start and at low steady speeds around town, in series hybrid mode when the energy level is low or for acceleration boosts, or in parallel hybrid mode where just the engine powers the front wheels, with the two electric motors adding extra power when needed (such as on uphills).

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV interior

The driver can manually select drive modes, depending on how the Outlander PHEV is being used. In Battery-Save mode, the vehicle runs simply on gasoline (provided the battery energy level is not higher than 90%) for driving on the highway, where a gasoline engine is more efficient than an electric motor. In Eco mode, fuel consumption and electricity drainage is reduced for added efficiency, and EV Priority mode does exactly what it says — runs the vehicle strictly on electric power. The opposite of that is Battery Charge mode, where the gasoline engine is used to charged the batteries while the vehicle is being driven (up to 80% capacity in about 40 minutes).

There is also an available remote control app, which allows the owner to check on vehicle status (whether doors and hood are open or closed, turn headlights on/off, and check on battery status), adjust charging schedules, and turn on the climate control system to use the electric connection to pre-heat or pre-cool the interior prior to start-up.