Trick powertrain in a conceptual Jeep-fighter. Where do we sign?
Automakers that don't make SUVs these days are few and far between. But few have as much history making sport-utes, or are focused as singularly on them, as Mitsubishi. And it's demonstrating that much at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show this week with the reveal of the conceptual off-roader you see here.
Called the Mi-Tech concept, the show truck takes the form of an open-air SUV – similar, in its basic idea, to the Jeep Wrangler (or a dune buggy). Only this one's electric, with a trick plug-in hybrid powertrain that (at least in concept) with a turbine engine.
That's right: the Mitsubishi Mi-Tech uses a jet engine. Only it's not spitting flames out the back. Not unlike what Jaguar initially hoped to do with the C-X75 supercar concept, the turbine here acts as a range-extender, supplementing the otherwise all-electric powertrain, from the four individual electric motors to the adaptive chassis and even the brakes. The advantage of a turbine over a conventional internal-combustion engine (or generator) is that it's inherently compact. It also burns (relatively) clean, plus it can easily shift from burning gasoline to diesel, kerosene, or even alcohol. Pretty sweet, if you ask us – and Mitsubishi's designed a pretty cool vehicle around it.
The concept looks something like the DC100 Sport concept with which Land Rover intended to preview the new Defender. It has no doors or roof to speak of, and the windshield incorporates a large-format head-up display projecting relevant information on the inside.
The exterior is done up in a rather tasteful shade of pale light blue, with copper accents inside and out, punctuated by a more emphatic take on Mitsubishi's signature Dynamic Shield grille design, with T-shaped headlights and aluminum skid plates to emphasize its rugged nature. Now, how about putting this fun-looking little technological tour de force into production, Mitsu?