New EV has got what it takes to sell well.
In the United States, Mitsubishi has been electrifying its rather underwhelming lineup at a glacial pace. In fact, besides the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, there were no other hybrids to speak of and certainly no EVs. But the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV that was revealed last month is a promising sign of things to come. Not only does it have an excellent 54-mile electric range but it also looks and feels like a big step up from anything else offered by the brand here. In China, things are progressing more steadily.
The automaker just took the covers off its Airtrek all-electric SUV at Auto Guangzhou. The Airtrek name was once used for the first-generation JDM-spec Outlander, although this new one is an entirely separate model from the existing Outlander.
Measuring a few inches shorter but around an inch wider than the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Airtrek is an attractive EV that's clearly related to the latest Outlander. In front, there's a closed-off grille surrounded by chunky chrome bars on each side. The headlight assembly separates the sleek daytime running lamps from the main lights which are shaped like the number "7". Lower down, a radar sensor is visible. The black roof contrasts nicely with the body. Along the sides, there is a rising beltline and flush door handles. The rear isn't as attractive as the front fascia, but overall, it's a modern and attractive SUV.
Inside, the Airtrek has a horizontally-themed instrument panel that the company says aids visibility. A two-tone design for the upholstery is a nice touch and gives the cabin an upmarket ambiance.
The Airtrek comes with a 70-kWh battery that can help the EV attain a range of around 320 miles based on China's CLTC cycle. The battery is placed in the center of the floor which helps to lower the center of gravity. Local reports in China suggest that the electric motor produces 181 horsepower, so it's no Tesla-beater. Still, the Airtrek looks like a positive step forward for Mitsubishi as the company jostles for space on the crowded EV bandwagon.