March 9, 2014

The future of 4WDs? One version of it arrives here in April

No low-range gearing here, but the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle promises to be a ground-breaker. The SUV, due here in April, priced from $59,990, is the first to meld electric vehicle tech and all wheel drive capability. Mitsubishi Japan says that by 2020 every fifth vehicle it bulds will be a PHEV or EV design. It’s building 30,000 Outlander PHEVs this year, but does not expect to keep up with demand.  

4wdNewz didn't make the guest list for the media launch, but a colleague reported back that he was impressed. "Up to 120km/h and 50-odd kilometres on the battery. Aggressive regenerative braking means you hardly ever touch the brake pedal. Batteries cost $16,000. Plug-in lead costs $1000. You probably have to install a new outlet as it sucks 9amps and has to be within 5m of the vehicle. My drive partner and I achieved 1.7 litres per 100km. Next best was 1.9 and worst was 3.2." It's officially rated at 1.9 litres per 100km, overall.