September 11th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will unveil the new Outlander PHEV at the Paris Motor Show on September 27.
Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV and offers the best of three worlds: the environmental performance of an electric vehicle (EV), the cruising range of a conventional internal
combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, and the on- and off-road performance of an SUV. MMC is due to bring Outlander PHEV to market first in Japan early in 2013. It is expected here in New Zealand mid
The Outlander PHEV uses Mitsubishi’s own Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain derived from 100% electric systems used on MMC’s pioneering 100% electric i-MiEV and other MMC all-electric vehicles.
Targeting owners who require extended cruising range, the Outlander PHEV’s Plug-in Hybrid EV System fuses together the EV technologies proven on i-MiEV with the very latest ICE environmental
technologies, including MMC’s MIVEC variable valve timing system. Employing electrical power stored in the drive battery by charging at home, at a charging station or when the system recovers energy when decelerating, the Plug-in Hybrid EV System gives the Outlander PHEV petrol-sipping performance, with a target combined fuel efficiency in excess of 61km/litre or less than 2l/100km, far better than vehicles powered by a conventional engine, and a cruising range in excess of 880 km.
1) Automatic selection of three drive modes for optimal efficiency
Depending on driving conditions and remaining battery charge, the Plug-in Hybrid EV powertrain automatically selects the optimum drive mode (see below) for comfortable driving while
providing superior fuel efficiency.
- EV Drive Mode
EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery. With zero on-road fuel consumption and zero CO2 emissions the driver can enjoy quiet and very eco-friendly performance in this mode.
- Series Hybrid Mode
In Series Hybrid Mode the IC engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient.
- Parallel Hybrid Mode
In Parallel Hybrid Mode the IC engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required. The system switches to this mode for higher-speed driving when the IC engine operates at peak efficiency.
2) High-capacity drive battery offers driving versatility
The high-capacity 12 kWh lithium-ion drive battery gives Outlander PHEV an EV Drive Mode cruising range of over 55 km (JC08 mode), sufficient for all-electric operation in most everyday situations
The driver can also manually switch to Battery Charge Mode in which the IC engine acts as a generator and charges the drive battery whether the vehicle is stationary or on the move. Battery Charge Mode gives the driver the flexibility to use the IC engine as a generator at any time they want; for example if the driver wants to use EV Drive Mode at a specific time, they can
make sure the drive battery has enough energy for that time.
2) Twin Motor 4WD System provides superior response
The Outlander PHEV uses a Twin Motor 4WD system comprising independent electric motors to drive the front and rear wheels. In addition to decreased friction loss Twin Motor 4WD delivers better response and finer control than conventional mechanical systems. It accomplishes this without a propeller shaft or other mechanical components seen in conventional mechanical systems. The Twin Motor 4WD system is integrated with Mitsubishi’s well-proven S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system to deliver high levels of stability and all-terrain performance and ensure the vehicle behaves just as the driver intends it to. In addition, the front and rear electric motors generate maximum torque immediately, an inherent characteristic of electric motors, giving acceleration comparable to that of a vehicle powered by a large-displacement high-output ICE and allowing Outlander PHEV to deliver superior levels of environmental and driving performance.