Mitsubishi to show new drivetrain technology at Tokyo Motor Show

MI-Tech Concept is a 2-seat speedster SUV using 4-motor 4-wheel drive system

Published: October 6, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:51 PM

Mitsubishi MI-Tech Concept

Mitsubishi is heading home to the Tokyo Motor Show to unveil a concept not likely to ever see a production line but chock full of technologies that will pave the way for future Mitsubishi models.

The MI-Tech Concept (reportedly standing for Mitsubishi Intelligent TECHnology) is reportedly a small SUV taking the form of a 2-seat speedster (which should be enough to disprove any thought of its production) that embodies the Mitsubishi core values of unparalleled driving pleasure and sustainable energy.

The electrified concept demonstrates a lighter and more compact plug-in hybrid system (PHEV), a 4-motor 4-wheel drivetrain and advanced driving assistance and safety systems, all of which will go into future Mitsubishi vehicles.

The powertrain uses a gas turbine engine generator to extend driving range, instead of the today’s customary gasoline engine, allowing the sub-compact SUV to drive on pure electricity or in a series of hybrid modes.

Using what Mitsubishi calls Quad Motor with Dual Motor AYC (with the latter standing for Active Yaw Control), power is channelled to all four wheels with two electric motors on each of the front and rear axles. The current Mitsubishi system uses an electric motor on each axle and its Active Yaw Control system to split torque front and rear.

The MI-Tech Concept also debuts a human-machine interface (HMI) that projects a variety of information on an Augmented Reality (AR) windshield, so the driver doesn’t have to take eyes off the road to see vital driving information. It also uses the MI-Pilot semi-autonomous driver assistance system to mitigate or prevent collisions through steering, throttle and braking systems using information from various sensors.

Mitsubishi will also be premiering a concept of a new generation Kei-car (those sub-compact tall wagons that are ubiquitous in the Japanese domestic market but have never seemed to catch on anywhere else) in the form of the Super Height K-Wagon Concept.

The K-wagon is a bodystyle of Kei-cars, the smallest highway-legal passenger cars in Japan (regulated by size and engine size so its owners can enjoy tax and insurance benefits). In some jurisdictions, they don’t even require proof of a parking space (an urban regulation to avoid traffic congestion). Mitsubishi will also be displaying its latest production version in the form of the eK X.

The Super Height K-Wagon Concept features a roomier interior than the today’s K-wagon, accessible through four doors, with the rear doors hinged at the rear to facilitate entry and exit. It too features the MI-Pilot suite of advanced driving assistance and safety systems.

The company will also debut the Engleberg Tourer that premiered at the Geneva International Motor Show last spring. The futuristic PHEV 3-row sport utility showed off styling cues that will become prevalent in future Mitsubishi utility vehicles.