U.S. auto consumers still do not have access to the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV (PHEV), and the trend continued at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Mitsubishi debuted several new models in the company lineup including the Outlander PHEV Concept-S, a premium version of the hybrid crossover that has already won over a loyal following in foreign markets for its utility and 148 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) on the European cycle. The concept may be a preview of the model expected to hit the U.S. in 2016.
Mechanically, the Outlander concept at the Paris Motor Show is identical to the one in production in overseas markets. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is mated to a pair of electric motors allowing for electric-only driving as well as hybrid and gasoline-only power to all four wheels. In terms of innovation for the Concept-S (symbolizing “Sporty and Sophisiticated,” according to Mitsubishi’s dedicated website), the automaker focused its efforts on exterior styling and interior comforts for the Outlander PHEV on display in Paris.
Wrap-around head lamps and a sparkling chrome emblem highlight the face of the car that features an “X” formation with top and lower lights. More chrome highlights the back end, with another Mitsubishi emblem planted on combination lamps that run from the tailgate out to the sides of the car, extending into the vehicle in profile. The concept is in platinum white with “glass flake finish.” Interior touches suggested even more of an upmarket design.
Featuring a black and burgundy interior, the Outlander PHEV Concept-S seats are clothed is soft leather with hand-stitched accents and silver trim. Black woodgrain highlights round out the interior upgrades along with a center console that is a take on the black-lacquered boxes of Japan.
All things considered, the Outlander PHEV would likely have a decent market in the lesser models in production around the world. If the automaker is trying to build expectations and gauge enthusiasm with the concept on display, then “mission accomplished.” Also on display at the Paris Motor Show are the Outlander PHEV that made a run at the Asia Cross Country Rally 2014 and the XR-PHEV, a more menacing version that is reminiscent of the Lexus LF-NX concept.
Production delays have pushed the U.S. arrival of any Outlander hybrid to at least the end of 2015, if not early 2016. At this point, consumers hoping to get an electric vehicle with utility have few options on the table. Let the waiting game recommence.