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Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander: The first electric SUV is here

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Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander
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M itsubishi took a little time. The partially electric Mitsubishi was supposed to come to us in 2013, but it has now taken a few months longer. After all, the car with the official name Plug-in Hybrid Outlander got a more meaningful name than the original, meaningless abbreviation 'PHEV'. On the occasion, the price screw was also turned, instead of the initially targeted brand well above 40,000 euros, the new SUV market is now starting for 39,990 euros: Is the hybrid drive already a quite exotic niche in itself, When it comes to plug-in hybrids, there are currently just a handful of manufacturers who offer corresponding models.

Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander with electric drive

The term plug-in hybrid describes hybrid models that can be driven purely electrically over long distances. To put it simply, a hybrid drive consisting of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor is given a considerably more powerful battery that can be charged not only while driving, but also at the home socket. The most prominent example of this is currently the Chevrolet Volt and its sister model Opel Ampera, hybrid pioneer Toyota also offers a corresponding model with the Toyota Prius Plug-in, meanwhile practically every manufacturer is developing a corresponding vehicle or is about to be launched on the market - including numerous SUVs have already been announced.

The advantage of this technology: As with a purely electric car, short distances can be covered purely electrically. But while in an electric car nothing works with an empty battery, in the plug-in hybrids the combustion engine kicks in, drives the car and, if possible, charges the battery again. In this way, the everyday purely electric car should be made fit for long distances - still the Achilles' heel of e-mobile concepts.

All-wheel drive purely electric

Not only the hybrid technology is new, the Japanese are also breaking new ground with the all-wheel drive of the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander. Instead of conventional power transmission using a transfer case and cardan shaft, the two axles are each driven by a 60 kW electric motor. Together the engines achieve a maximumTorque of 332 Newton meters, which is typically available from an electric motor immediately. A two-liter four-cylinder petrol engine serves as an additional drive, and takes over the work as a generator on long journeys and drives the front wheels.

The driver can choose from various operating modes. It is not only possible to drive up to 50 km in purely electric mode. In addition, energy can also be 'saved' at the push of a button by charging the battery on long-distance journeys so that later city trips can be managed purely electrically.

Amazingly low weight

The technical key data of the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV not only surprise with the range. The weight is also relatively low in view of the heavy battery technology: 1,885 kilos. The 12 kWh lithium-ion battery should be fully charged in five hours from a standard household socket. At special fast charging stations, 80 percent charging should be possible in 30 minutes. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can reach speeds of up to 120 km /h in purely electric mode and runs at speeds of up to 170 km /h in mixed operation with an auxiliary combustion engine before it is regulated. The sprint to 100 km /h is done in eleven seconds.

As usual for this vehicle category, the average consumption is an impressively low 1.9 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers. In practice, however, this can only be achieved if the batteries are fully charged at the start of the journey and no longer distance is on the program. When our colleagues from auto, motor und sport drove the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for the first time, the on-board computer reported an average of 5.8 liters - but under difficult conditions, fully occupied and with a fuel-intensive driving style. The truth in day-to-day business should therefore be somewhere in the middle.

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