While many automakers have been embracing electric vehicles, Mitsubishi seems to be lagging behind. But recently, the Japanese brand announced their first electric SUV, the Airtrek. In terms of EVs, it’s certainly not the worst, but flew under the radar when revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show. Though there’s a reason you haven’t heard about this new Mitsubishi model: chances are can’t buy it.
The Mitsubishi Airtrek electric SUV will only be available in China
I’ll start by saying I think it’s a shame Mitsubishi isn’t bringing this electric SUV to America. Because, in terms of EVs, this one isn’t too shabby. Packing 232 miles of range from a 70 kW battery, and making a total of 181 horsepower from the electric motor. While those numbers aren’t monumental, they’re perfectly adequate given the SUV’s size.
The Airtrek measures 182.3 inches long, 75.6 wide, and 68 tall. That makes it about the same size as the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, which measures 185 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 69 inches tall. And because the Airtrek shares similar dimensions with the Outlander, it should be just as wonderful to sit in.
Mitsubishi also prides itself on the electric car’s driving characteristics. According to a recent press release, the Airtrek embraces “both the maneuverability and high stability that characterize Mitsubishi vehicles.”
However, this isn’t the first time Mitsubishi has used the Airtrek name. In fact, the Airtrek name dates as far back as 2001.
This new electric SUV isn’t the first Airtrek
The Airtrek originally debuted at the Shanghai Autoshow earlier this year. But the Airtrek name embedded itself in Mitubishi’s history years ago. That’s because the original Mitsubishi Outlander shared the Airtrek name over in Japan.
The original Mitsubishi Airtrek rolled off the assembly line in 2001 for Japan, and eventually migrated to the states in 2003 as the Mitsubishi Outlander. But the name Airtrek only lasted until the car’s second generation. From there, they swapped over to the globally recognized Outlander nameplate.
And speaking of “globally recognized,” many people forget about Mitsubishi’s contributions to clean technologies. But surprisingly, this small automaker has been at the forefront of innovation for years.
Mitsubishi has been at the forefront of many electric innovations
Many people consider the Tesla Model 3 to be the first mainstream electric car, which came out in 2017. But in actuality, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV beat Tesla to the punch by 8 years. In 2009, Mitsubishi released a personal electric car that eventually came to the states in 2011. It was more like a road-legal golf cart, but it was the world’s first mass-produced electric car.
On top of that, Mitsubishi was the first brand to build a production plug-in hybrid SUV. And unlike the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which was discontinued in 2017, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is still available today.
The new Airtrek is set to release in China in 2022. And while it’s unfortunate this electric SUV won’t be coming to America, it’s nice to see Mitsubishi moving forward in terms of electric cars and renewable energy.