Could this be the company's next best-seller?
The Mitsubishi Outlander has become the undisputed leader of the Japanese automaker's North American market renaissance. Earlier this month the carmaker reported an astounding second quarter sales increase of 106 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Monthly sales for the Outlander and the recently updated Eclipse Cross continue to increase. Mitsubishi's sole plug-in hybrid model, the Outlander PHEV, remains on sale but it's based on the previous-gen Outlander. That design dates back to 2014. About time for a successor, right? Indeed.
Mitsubishi has just announced the next-generation Outlander PHEV will go on sale in Japan in the second half of this year. The US, however, will have to wait until the second part of 2022.
This also means an official debut should happen soon, indicated by the new pair of teaser images. The PHEV variant shouldn't look dramatically different from the gas-powered version with the exception of appropriate powertrain badging and maybe a few other minor styling tweaks. No technical details have been released yet. Mitsubishi has simply said that it'll be more powerful and offer greater driving range than the outgoing model.
Earlier this year, that vehicle received some solid upgrades by way of a new and more efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine instead of the old 2.0-liter. The 60-kW rear-axle-mounted electric motor has been swapped out for a 70-kW unit.
Gas engine output comes to 126 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the electric motor there's 221 hp - a 31 hp boost over last year. Mitsubishi didn't stop the upgrades with the electric motor and engine. The battery's output increased from 12.0 kWh to 13.8 kWh, which improves all-electric range from 22 to 24 miles and top speed from 79 mph to 83 mph. A powertrain software update helps to reduce road noise and overall ride improvement. Fuel economy is now rated at 74 MPGe and 26 mpg.
It's possible the 2023 Outlander PHEV will get this powertrain setup as well but, again, this hasn't been confirmed. In any case, an all-new Outlander PHEV - with a third-row - is on its way.