Yesterday Mitsubishi said the world will soon see its almost-ready-for-production Concept PX-MiEV II later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The latest version of a high-tech all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicle uses two electric motors and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It is said to offer the power of a 3.0-liter V6, and is capable of operating as either a series or parallel hybrid.
Among detail given are that one of the plug-in vehicle’s electric motors drives the front wheels, the other drives the rear.
The PX-MiEV II uses a lithium-ion battery similar to the battery pack in the pending i city car and this works in conjunction with the engine.
Its all-electric range is said to be 31 miles – much less than the lighter all-electric i which the EPA says goes 62 miles on a full charge. Since it has gasoline back-up however, the CUV’s total driving range is said to be as high as 500 miles.
On the optimistic Japanese test cycle, the PX-MiEV II could get as high as 140 miles per gallon. Keep in mind the Japanese cycle is easily 20-25-percent more generous than the U.S. EPA.
The vehicle works as a series hybrid at lower speeds or when the battery is low on charge. Under such conditions, the engine acts as a generator to sustain charge to the battery, but does not drive the wheels.
Alternately, at higher speeds, or when the battery is fully charged, the vehicle morphs into a parallel hybrid providing motive force to the wheels, and recharging the battery simultaneously.
The five-seater Mitsu will use the company’s S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) setup. A version of this electric system is also expected to be featured in the anticipated Evo XI sports car, which Popular Mechanics said is one car “worth waiting for.”
In addition to the usual advantages in snow-belt regions, the automaker says this AWD system provides excellent vehicle control and dynamics.
When the PX-MiEV II will be launched and find its way to the U.S. is not clear. Maybe within a year or two?
Automotive News observes it strongly hints at the hybrid version of the Outlander crossover planned for launch in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. The Outlander is part of Mitsu’s transformation of its lineup which includes an assortment of electrified drivetrains.
More will be known soon, there will be other innovative electrified vehicles of various makes and models featured at Tokyo as well, and we may report on some of them in coming weeks.
As has already been apparent, this green car and electrification phenomenon is taking off, and while the total market share is in question, everyone wants a piece of the pie.