First exit in the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

PHEV? A cryptic abbreviation that stands for “Plug-In-Hybrid-Electric-Vehicle” - and because Mitsubishi is now putting an end to the abbreviations, one avoids this term when presenting the Plug-In-Hybrid Outlander and instead emphasizes the new capabilities and the full name. A good idea.

First exit Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid

The plug-in hybrid SUV SUV

Get used to the questions of mobility? We will probably all have to meet at some point. Rising gasoline prices and finite oil stocks are forcing us to do so. Rethinking when using efficient vehicles? Not necessary in the case of the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. Get in, press the brake, shift lever to D and off you go.

Mitsubishi has launched a milestone in plug-in hybrid technology with the latest Outlander generation. Because Mitsubishi is consistently driving into the new direction of sustainable mobility, the Outlander has been designed from the start so that the plug-in hybrid version fits into the entire vehicle concept. From the outside, therefore, hardly any of the unusual technology under the SUV shell of the Japanese falls on. And the technology is awesome. Mitsubishi is also the first manufacturer to offer a full-fledged SUV with the Outlander plug-in hybrid, in which the customer does not have to compromise on behalf of the hybridization.

All wheel drive? He has. Pull trailers? He can. Accelerate fully electrically to 120 km / h? He does it without grumbling. Those who prefer EV mode can travel up to 52 kilometers without burning a drop of gasoline. But the special thing about the Outlander PHEV is not the convincing electric performance. Others can drive electrically, too, even if only a few as far as the Outlander. It's his combination. It is the technology that was packed under its shell.

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Power of the three hearts

Two electric motors, one per axis. An electricity generator and a gasoline engine. This package works cleverly together, supervised by a group of control units. The hybrid drive of the Outlander works both in series and in parallel. Its gasoline engine can be used to charge the batteries in order to drive the electric motors directly, as well as in reserve. At higher speeds, its petrol engine also works directly as a drive for the front axle. Thanks to a single-stage gearbox, the two-liter petrol engine with its 121 hp is also coupled at higher speeds (from approx. 120 km / h) and thus drives the Outlander directly. If you are in a particularly hurry, you can go up to 170 km / h and experience the ingenious interaction of the various engines. Because the gasoline engine can still drive the electricity generator while it is driving the Outlander and thus provide energy for the electric motors.

Theoretically, the Outlander could drive with pure rear-wheel drive. Mitsubishi speaks of a “Twin Motor 4WD” when it comes to the Outlander's all-wheel drive - because there is no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. There is an 82 hp electric motor on each of the axles. This equal distribution of drive power allows the all-wheel drive to be used to increase driving pleasure. Mitsubishi has packed the control logic of the Evolution into the Outlander and ensures a particularly dynamic driving experience with an active torque distribution (Active Yaw). And shows on the first exit the Outlander what he can do.

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Its almost 1.9 tonnes curb weight cannot be felt. The almost 400 Nm of the electric motors bring a lot of dynamism to the SUV from the first turn. The function of the petrol engine is controlled by pressing the “CHRG” button. When the batteries are full - charging at home on the standard 230 volt network takes around 5 hours - a range of over 50 kilometers is available. If you drive off with empty batteries but want to arrive at a travel destination with charged batteries, where you later want to drive electrically, you press this button and the petrol engine starts in the background. Now, on the one hand, you drive electrically and, on the other hand, the gasoline engine charges the on-board batteries via a generator.

As is customary for hybrids, you can experience the magic of current flow and power distribution on the display via graphics. Or just drive and be amazed.

Shift paddles are located behind the steering wheel. In the absence of a multi-stage transmission, these assume a completely new task. A little strange at the beginning, but logical and practical after a few kilometers.

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Shift paddles for recuperation

Electric and hybrid vehicles recuperate so that the energy can be used that is usually simply converted into heat when braking. The electric motors work like dynamos on a bicycle and convert the kinetic energy into storable electricity. How much this function supports when braking can be adjusted on many hybrid vehicles. Often in levels from 1 to 3. The Outlander divides the effect of the recuperation power into 6 levels. From 0 (no noticeable recuperation) up to 5. This setting can be made on the Outlander PHEV using the “rockers”. In level 5, the brake pedal is hardly used. If you take your foot off the accelerator in stage 5, you can feel very clearly how the vehicle is braked by the electric motors, which now work like dynamos. A lot of kinetic energy is fed back into the batteries in the form of electricity that can be used later. This level should be used especially when driving downhill or when towing a trailer. When I rolled up to a traffic light, I used the paddles to slow down the vehicle in stages. Switched through from 5 to 0 via the rockers and the Outlander gently rolls out. The brake is then only used directly at the stop line.

Driving with foresight and thinking ahead should make for the biggest adjustment at the beginning. If you get involved, you will experience an SUV that impresses with its incredible efficiency.

Short distances purely electric, long distances thanks to 121 PS petrol engine just as quickly and without the fear of missing the next socket.

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Place in the hut

There are unimportant millimeters that are missing in the interior of the PHEV, if you compare them with his brothers who are driven in a conventional manner. 19 millimeters in the height of the cargo space and 45 millimeters in height of usable foot space for the passengers in Tier Two. 463 to 1.472 liters still fit in the trunk and only the optional third row of seats is completely eliminated. A fair price for progress!

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Price value

Mitsubishi has awarded the plugin variant with a competitive price. Two electric motors, a gasoline engine, 50 kilometers of electric range and 120 km / h maximum electrical speed for a total of 5 passengers cost the Outlander 39.900 €.

(An Audi Q5 Hybrid costs at least € 54.000 and does not drive more than 3 kilometers electrically. Many others cover even fewer kilometers electrically, but cost more.)


At the end...

In my opinion, the Outlander plug-in hybrid is currently the most technologically interesting SUV on the market. No other plug-in hybrid is currently designed as consistently as this Mitsubishi.   

As with the surprise chocolate eggs that you buy for children, in the case of the Outlander PHEV what you really want is under the shell. 


The Outlander PHEV - sorry - Plugin-In Hybrid, you can take a closer look at the cherry blossom festival of Mitsubishi dealers next weekend. The delivery periods should be a maximum of three months. And I strongly recommend a test drive - the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is really impressive!

More impressions from Plug-In Hybrid Outlander finds who to colleague Fabian von autophorie clicks, he also drove the PHEV and he found no catch.

[= ””] Facts about the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

For sale: May 2014
Base Price: € 39.900
Engine performance: Benziner 121 PS, electric motor VA: 60 kW, HA: 60 kW
Drive and transmission: Electric motors, 1 gear for petrol engines
Length, width, height, wheelbase: 4.655, 1.800, 1.680, 2.670 mm
Fuel consumption:1.9l / 100 km NEDC, 13.4 kW / 100km - 44g CO² / km
maximum speed: 170 km/h
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h- seconds

And only mentioned in passing; the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has also lost its strange-sounding name and is now only marketed as the “Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle”. OK then. And already asked of me at the first exit with the i-MiEV 😉 [click]  But now back to the




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