ANTICIPATED as the model on which the next-generation Mitsubishi Strada will be based, the Mitsubishi Concept GR-HEV is billed as a Sport Utility Truck that furthers environmental and driving performance. Also, it seeks to combine the comfort of a sedan or an SUV with the functionality of a pickup, according to Mitsubishi.
The Concept GR-HEV took the center stage at Mitsubishi Motors Phils. Corp.’s (MMPC) stand at the 5th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS).
The model is part of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan’s drive toward electric propulsion. The company had set for itself the goal of having 20 percent of its vehicles be powered by electricity by the time 2020 rolls by.
Spearheading the program is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which came out in 2009, followed by the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Besides PHEV and pure electrics, the carmaker has also been developing Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV).
Mitsubishi said its next logical step is to further adapt electric tech to larger, tougher, sportier vehicles that are suited for work and leisure. The result is the Concept GR-HEV, set to be the first one-ton pickup to get hybrid power.
The truck is propelled by a powertrain that mixes a “clean diesel” engine and electric motors. Mitsubishi said this is simpler and more affordable than developing either an EV or a PHEV because an HEV is best suited to the heavy-duty, daily requirements of pickup truck users.
The Concept GR-HEV is fitted with Mitsubishi’s full-time 4WD system that has Super All Wheel Control. The system integrates vehicle dynamics control for improved stability, traction and performance in all road conditions. Mitsubishi also eyes an “ambitious target” of CO2 emissions below 149g/km for the Concept GR-HEV, far better than the segment average.
Besides the Concept GR-HEV, MMPC’s display at PIMS includes an actual Pajero Dakar Rally car from 2002, the Concept CA MiEV electric car, 2015 ASX, Montero Sport, 2015 Pajero, 2015 Mirage, Mirage G4, Lancer EX and the Outlander PHEV—the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle SUV.
At PIMS, MMPC also offered P5,000 additional savings applied on purchases or reservations made during the show. Buyers can avail of the additional discount until the end of the year. PIMS visitors who test-drove Mitsubishi vehicles also received P5,000 coupons, which can be applied together with the reservation savings.