Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), on November 20, unveiled the futuristic Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Featuring bold styling and a performance-oriented yet highly efficient plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain, the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV crossover hints at the future design direction for Mitsubishi Motors production vehicles in North America and further reaffirms the automaker’s commitment to the U.S. market.
The Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV is a futuristic next-generation compact crossover that blends the functionality of an SUV, the dramatic, eye-catching appeal and performance of a sports coupe and the drivetrain of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) into one.
The stylized and modern driver-focused cabin is highly refined, technologically-advanced and comfortable for all of the vehicle’s occupants. In addition to its futuristic design both inside and out, the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV features a host of next-generation active safety system technologies and its eco-friendly PHEV drivetrain offers sports car-like performance and exceptional fuel economy because of its Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology.
MiEV technology is showcased in Mitsubishi’s production cars including the highly innovative 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi i-MiEV – the most affordably-priced EV available in America today – and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV that is proving popular with both consumers and the media overseas. Mitsubishi’s MiEV technology is also the driving force behind the 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III race cars that dominated the competition in the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, shattering the EV class record by 38 seconds and finishing second and third overall.
A track athlete huddled down in the starting blocks, poised to launch forward in a dynamic burst of energy with whirlwind acceleration is the primary inspiration behind the bold-yet-muscular exterior form of the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV.
The profile of a sprinter in the starting position is symbolized through the strong yet elegantly chiseled sheet metal creases on the sides of the vehicle. These character lines, working in concert with the Concept XR-PHEV’s distinctively wedge-shaped profile, give this show car an aggressive forward-leaning stance that further epitomizes the track athlete’s form. The muscular look is also enhanced by the highly sculpted fenders that envelope oversize high-performance tires, and its low, wide stance exudes strength and performance.
Functional exterior accessories include solar cell arrays embedded within the roof to help more efficiently charge the auxiliary equipment battery, as well as an active aerodynamic device in the form of a variable angle spoiler on the trailing edge of the roof.
One of the most important themes behind the creation of the Concept XR-PHEV is athletic performance. Mitsubishi engineers and designers created a driver-centric interior aimed to inspire the enthusiast, ensure coordinated and precise control inputs, and instill driver confidence for optimal car control and vehicle stability at all times.
While the other seats have been upholstered in black with red accents, this color combination has been inverted for the all-important driver’s seat to make it stand out in the vehicle. Both front bucket seats are comfortable yet supportive, but the driver’s seat features additional bolstering in another nod to the importance of the driver.
The modern information display pod allows the driver to easily and instantly notice the most important driving parameters. The speedometer, tachometer and other key performance information displays/readouts are placed along the top of the dashboard, at the base of the windshield, to ensure the driver keeps his or her eyes on the road ahead.
Next-Generation PHEV with MiEV Technology
A next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system featuring Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology provides a compelling and futuristic drivetrain to match the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV’s dynamic and forward-thinking design.
MiEV technology is the proprietary EV and PHEV-based drivetrain systems of Mitsubishi Motors, featuring components and software that have been engineered to deliver outstanding capability, safety and reliability. MiEV technology powers production vehicles including the 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The motive force for this concept-car creation by Mitsubishi Motors comes in the form of a front engine/front-wheel drive gasoline-powered 1.1-liter inline-3-cylinder turbocharged engine (134 horsepower/100 kW) paired with a lightweight, compact and high-efficiency electric motor (161 horsepower/121 kW) with a high-boost converter and a main drive lithium-ion battery pack with storage capacity of 14 kWh (located beneath the floor of the cabin). This potent yet extremely efficient powertrain combination makes for exciting sports car-like acceleration while offering exemplary fuel and energy efficiency – truly the best of both worlds.
A new component development to the MiEV technology system which is included on the Concept XR-PHEV is the high-boost converter. This converter raises the MiEV system to 700 volts and helps to further improve energy output and efficiency from both the electric motor as well as the generator.
Connected Car Technology
The Concept XR-PHEV has been equipped with a Mitsubishi Motors advanced “connected car” technology that makes use of the next-generation information systems. The connected car systems not only provide an additional level of information and driving-related logistics in a convenient and easy-to-use system, but they can potentially reduce the risk of accidents involving other drivers as well as pedestrians/cyclists by keeping the driver better informed about traffic signal status and vehicles and objects surrounding their vehicle.