Mitsubishi To Offer 2 New Plug-In Hybrids For Its European Range
|   Monday, October 20, 2014
Mitsubishi plans a hybridization of its range and will launch two hybrid versions of its models after the current Outlander PHEV and the future replacement for the Lancer Evolution X. The two plug-in hybrid versions which will be introduced in the Mitsubishi range will be replacements for the ASX and Pajero models, said Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi CEO.

The decision to launch these versions came easily for Mitsubishi because plug-in hybrids were "well accepted by the market", and are expected to bring a sale increase plus new.


ASX is Mitsubishi's best selling model offered on the European market, followed by the Outlander. In August, the Japanese had sold 22,389 ASX units and 20,810 Outlander units. The Pajero managed only 2,840 units sold in the same period. Of all Outlander units sold in the first half of the year, 8953 represented the plug-in hybrid version.

The ASX replacement is coming in 2016, but the plug-in hybrid version will be launched in 2017. The new Pajero generation and its hybrid variant will be launched in 2018.

Masuko did not offer details on the plug-in powertrains for the ASX and Pajero. Right now, the Outlander plug-in has a 2.0-liter gasoline engine rated at121 hp and a 60 kW electric motor.

Mitsubishi's CEO said that the choices made in terms of the new models were the result of a new medium-term strategy. In this strategy he expects 20 percent of Mitsubishi sales by 2020 to represent vehicles with some form of rechargeable electric system.

Also, Masuko said that part of its growth strategy – which is aimed at reducing long-term emissions and energy requirements - has been finding smart solutions and offering different options in different countries, depending on their requirements. Therefore, developing countries might prefer petrol or diesel models more accessible in terms of price, while developed countries would be obliged to adopt clean technologies.

For example, Masuko said during a Australian visit that "The Australian market will see ASX in both petrol and PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), it will be followed by Pajero in petrol, PHEV and diesel."

Those at Mitsubishi announced earlier in the year that they will launch a hybrid replacement for the famous Lancer Evolution. The latter will be taken out of production in mid-2015, when it has made ​​the transition from the 2015 generation to the 2016 generation of the model, as dictated by standards in the industry. Instead of a performance compact sedan, customers will receive a performance hybrid SUV, the references of which are not publicly known.

Mitsubishi product chief Kanenori Okamoto, said at the Paris Motor Show, that an Evo XI was not part of the brand's future plans. "It will not exist as we know it," he stated. "It will be replaced in spirit by an SUV with high performance."

Mitsubishi UK chief Lance Bradley showed confident in the future of green technology and its ability to attract people: "Electric vehicle performance is very good. As new products are introduced, they will all get the new technology. Our technology is scalable. The ASX will be the next to get it in a different version, likely with a single electric motor and two-wheel drive. It won't have a shorter driving range, though, because battery technology is improving all the time."
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