While the North American automotive world is busy in Detroit, Mitsubishi Motors will celebrate the European premiere of its mild hybrid Concept AR at the 2014 Brussels Motor Show, due to open to the public January 16, 2014.
Alongside the Concept AR will be the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid crossover which will start its pan-European commercial career at the Brussels Motor Show, after an introduction October 2013 in the “wave-one” countries, The Netherlands, Switzerland and selected Nordic markets.
Mistsubishi’s Concept AR (for “Active Runabout”) is powered by a lightweight Belt Start Generator (BSG)-type mild hybrid system which combines a downsized 1.1-liter in-line 3-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged MIVEC engine and a low-output BSG torque circuit.
The company explained the rear-mounted 48 volt lithium-ion battery and air-cooled DC-DC converter work in cooperation to provide instant engine restarting after an idle-stop and to deliver torque assist under acceleration. The motor is used to recover kinetic energy during regenerative braking and to drive the A/C compressor while the engine is turned off to promote even better fuel economy.
During its development, the Concept AR has been subjected to an exhaustive weight reduction program targeting the engine and the hybrid system. This weight saving is combined with more extensive use of high-tensile strength steel panels as implemented in Mitsubishi Motors’ latest products and also, of lightweight structural materials in strategic locations.
Mitsubishi added this weight reduction was extended to the no-frill design of the dashboard, seats and even the choice of upholstery trim. The result, per Mitsubishi, is a significant reduction in fuel consumption as well as a smoother and more comfortable ride.
One of the goal of the Concept AR is to create a next-generation compact multi-purpose vehicle which combines SUV sportiness with minivan roominess.
The Concept AR was first unveiled late November 2013 at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show.