Mitsubishi Motors' new Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) will make a dramatic entrance into Mitsubishi showrooms across the UK next month although customers can place orders from this week.
The Outlander PHEV qualifies for the Government's £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant (P-iCG). According to the company it is the only plug-in hybrid in the UK market that does not carry a price premium for its hybrid technology. Customers can choose between a diesel or PHEV Outlander for the same price. The entry-level GX3hOutlander PHEV is on sale for £28,249 after the grant. This is the same price as the Outlander diesel GX3 auto.
On electric power only, the vehicle can travel up to 32.5 miles, enabling it to function entirely as an electric vehicle in most everyday situations - it more than covers the UK's average daily commute of 25 miles.
The official fuel consumption figure for PHEV is 148mpg, based on industry standards set by European law although for longer journeys at higher speeds it may achieve less than 148mpg.
Storing the drive battery under the floor improves safety by lowering the centre of gravity and reducing roll movement, without affecting SUV functionality.
Smaller, lighter, higher output versions of the permanent magnet synchronous motors used in the i-MiEV are located front and rear. These have a maximum output of 60 kW each and maximum torques of 137 Nm (front) and 195 Nm (rear), and deliver high torque and power from the outset.
Leveraging its proven expertise in 4WD control technology, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has developed a new Twin Motor 4WD system that delivers power independently to the front wheels (from the front motor and/or engine) and rear wheels (from the rear motor). The use of motors and absence of mechanical connections such as a propeller shaft mean the Twin Motor 4WD delivers better response and finer control than conventional 4WD systems and reduces friction loss.
The vehicle has three drive modes:
- EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery.
- In Series Hybrid Mode, the petrol engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors.
- The system switches to Parallel Hybrid Mode when the vehicle reaches high speeds. In this mode the high- efficiency petrol engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required
The drive battery is a high-capacity lithium-ion battery based on the technology used in the i-MiEV. It consists of 80 cells housed in a battery pack enclosed in a secure frame, and has a total voltage of 300V and total storage capacity of 12.0 kWh.
During deceleration, the motors function as generators so that electricity can be generated to charge the drive battery. The regenerative braking can be increased when the brake pedal is pressed. The strength of regenerative braking is adjustable using the selector lever, which has three strength settings and a paddle selector on the steering wheel, which offers six strength settings.