Home' Sunraysia Daily : motors24012015 Contents 10
Sunraysia Daily Saturday, January 24, 2015
Mitsubishi quiet achiever
makes early SUV inroads
AT the advent of hybrid petrol / electric
cars the makers did their best to make their
vehicles other worldly, standing out like
flying saucers at a vicarage tea party. For
example, futuristic fashion had its way with
the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius.
Since then, hybrids have repeatedly been
absorbed into their respective model line-
ups, for example, the Honda Civic, Toyota
Camry and assorted Lexuses, with little to
distinguish on the outside them from their
more conventional siblings.
Now, Mitsubishi has come up with the
world’s first mass production plug-in hybrid
SUV, which apart from the odd identification
logo, could be any of the Outlander
fraternity — which it’s definitely is not.
The Outlander PHEV, for Plug-in Hybrid
Electric Vehicle, runs on electrical power
with the back-up of a petrol engine which
is used to charge the battery or add extra
performance to the vehicle.
The technically sophisticated SUV comes
in two highly specified variants — Outlander
PHEV LS or the top-notch Outlander PHEV
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The Outlander PHEV makes use of two
60 kW electric motors, front and rear, a
12 kWh lithium ion drive battery, 70 kW
output generator, lightweight front transaxle
assembly and an efficient 87 kW 2.0-litre
four-cylinder petrol engine, the last used to
recharge the drive battery and supplement
power in more testing driving conditions.
The PHEV makes the best use of both
systems by delivering power in three
modes — EV Drive Mode, Series and
Parallel Modes. These operate without any
intervention from the driver.
EV mode is all electric driving, using only
electric power from the drive battery. Carbon
dioxide emissions and petrol consumption
are zero at speeds up to 120 km/h.
In Series Mode, the petrol engine is used
to recharge the battery which supplies the
electric motors to drive the wheels. The
system switches to Series mode when the
battery charge falls below a predetermined
level or more performance is required, such
as during overtaking or on a steep climb.
The switch to Parallel Mode occurs when
the vehicle reaches highway speeds, or
extra power is required. In Parallel Mode,
the petrol engine provides drive to the front
wheels with help from the electric motors.
The electric motors also manage
Outlander’s dynamic stability, the integrated
S-AWC system ensuring it has the same
high levels of grip and roadholding as a
conventional four-wheel drive.
The PHEV follows the rest of the mid-sized
Outlander SUV range, taking on a sportier
front and rear design to give it a stronger,
more dynamic street presence. The interior
repeats family characteristics, with the
selector lever, power gauge and displays
showing its unique identity.
With the rear seat backs folded, cargo
space extends to 1741 mm in length, a
completely flat 463 litres of luggage room.
An underfloor compartment provides space
for the charging cable and other small items.
The conventional Outlander’s multi-
information system gains a PHEV-dedicated
menu which provides access to functions
and displays for electric vehicle usage. This
includes a 7-inch display screen with a
navigation system that includes a charging
station search, charging cost, scheduled
charging and air cooling and remaining
cruising area display.
A PHEV Driving Information Display
incorporates an energy flow display, energy
monitoring and ECO system information.
Silence is far from golden when it comes
to vehicles and pedestrians coming together.
The boffins put their heads together and
have added noise to the almost silent
electric motors, stopping the PHEV
becoming the stealth bomber of the street.
More conventional safety measures
include a plethora of airbags including
front driver and passenger airbags, side,
curtain and knee bags, the Super All-Wheel
Control system with Active Yaw and Stability
Control, reverse camera and rear parking
Continued on page 14
The electric motors also manage Outlander’s dynamic stability, the
integrated S-AWC system ensuring it has the same high levels of grip
and roadholding as a conventional four-wheel drive.
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