Mitsubishi's new concept sport-utility truck is a stylish preview at a potential hybrid diesel pickup.
Japanese automaker Mitsubishi is working hard to up its fuel-efficiency credentials. But if the i-MiEV electric city car isn't enough, it has revealed a prototype it calls the GR-HEV at the Geneva Motor Show this year. Simply put, it's five-seat diesel hybrid, a ton sport-utility truck that's powered by the brand's 2.5-liter clean diesel engine and a front-mounted electric motor. The combo is mated to an automatic gearbox that directs power to all four wheels, with the electric motor kicking in for low-rev acceleration.
Even with the engine's high-end torque kicking in a bit later, fuel emissions are dramatically lower than other diesel-powered trucks. Mitsubishi hasn't released official fuel economy numbers, only stating that it has a target C02 emissions rating below 149 g/km. The jury's still out on the styling, its high pickup bed protruding awkwardly out of an otherwise somewhat svelte shape. However the GR-HEV's diesel hybrid powertrain - still a rarity in the industry - could be just what Mitsubishi needs to stand out from the competition.