Mitsubishi commits to becoming leader in PHEVs

While other carmakers are solely focused on pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs), Mitsubishi sees its future in Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs). At the 46th Tokyo Motor Show, they’ve announced plans to expand their PHEV line-up, including in the Japan-only kei (keijidōsha) car segment as well as their compact and mid-sized SUVs by 2022.

For the immediate future, Mitsubishi is showing off the close-to-production ready Super Height K-Wagon Concept. It’s a car that delivers the performance and functionality to meet the ultra-stringent kei car segment, while also adopting a flavor close to Mitsubishi’s SUVs.

The SUV-like styling is shown by the Dynamic Shield front fascia, a design now seen in the Xpander, Montero Sport, and Strada, coupled with black side sill garnishes and wheel arches. The body is then finished in a two-tone color scheme and is fitted with functional roof rails for those who live active lifestyles.

Inside, Mitsubishi expanded the Super Height K-Wagon Concept’s interior room with a long wheelbase. Plus, the rear doors are the largest in the kei car class. The theme itself is premium with brown diamond-quilted leather seats.

A more far-out concept, the MI-TECH Concept shared the centerstage with the Super Height K-Wagon Concept. With a name that means “Mitsubishi Intelligent/Ingenious/Inspired Technology,” this one is an off-left field small plug-in hybrid electric SUV that companies Mitsubishi corporate slogan, “Drive Your Ambition.”

Mitsubishi K-Wagon Concept

Taking on a buggy-like appearance, the MI-TECH Concept adopts the signature Dynamic Shield front design concept, now finished in satin silver (with copper as a secondary color) to accentuate its bold nature. It also has T-shaped headlights which may make it to future Mitsubishi models. On the sides, the highly raised overfenders and large diameter tires project stability to take on any terrain while at the back, the rear-end looks to be shaped from a single piece of metal ingot while also echoing the same T-shaped light pattern used on the front.

Inside, it’s all about minimalism and simplicity. Mitsubishi has also opted to project all relevant driving information onto the windshield.

But perhaps the most intriguing thing about the MI-TECH Concept is that its power generator is actually a gas turbine engine. Mitsubishi says they’ve chosen to use a gas turbine engine for its high-power output relative to its size, and the fact that it can be run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.

It also previews a potential future for Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, which now uses a quad-motor system with front and rear motors acting as yaw control units. Even the brake caliper engagement is electric allowing for faster response, while also giving high levels of accuracy and control.

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