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Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid 2022: all-new plug-in hybrid with 87km EV range, Australian launch early 2022

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

After an eight-year run in Australia, the current Outlander PHEV is making way for a brand new model with a much-improved powertrain


Hybrid fans rejoice! After 290,000 global sales of the previous Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi has revealed an all-new version and it’s coming to Australia in the first quarter of 2022. 

The Outlander will initially launch in Japan as what the company describes as an SUV with “expertise in electrification and all-wheel control technologies”.

While the Japanese line-up features three trim levels (five-seat M, five- or seven-seat G wearing 20-inch wheels, and seven-seat P on 20s), the Australian Outlander plug-in hybrid range will be revealed closer to launch. 

Outlander PHEV front shot
The Outlander PHEV has been completely restyled inside and out.

Outlander gets fresh PHEV boost

While there are plenty of improvements around the vehicle, the star of the show is its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system. 

This new-generation PHEV system sees a 40-percent increase in output of the front and rear electric motors, allowing for a smooth and powerful response from the powertrain. 

A larger capacity 20kWh battery helps boost the electric-only range to 87km (WLTP) for the entry-level model, and 83km when fitted with 20-inch wheels.

That’s a considerable increase from the outgoing model which could only travel 54km (NEDC and ADR81/02 cycles) or 45km on the more realistic WLTP cycle. The Outlander PHEV’s fuel tank has also increased in size to aid overall driving range. 

Outlander PHEV engine bay
A bigger battery and more power and torque helps the Outlander PHEV perform well.

The power drive unit for the front motor is equipped with a booster function that can raise the voltage of the front motor while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the generator. 

Combining the rear motor with the control motor means the new-gen Outlander PHEV now has enough room to package a third row of seats, offering room for seven passengers for the first time.

A new innovation for the Outlander PHEV is the addition of a modern regenerative braking system that allows the car to accelerate and decelerate through the use of the accelerator pedal only. 

All-wheel drive and drive modes

The new Outlander PHEV features Mitsubishi’s ‘Super-All Wheel Control’ AWD system based on a twin-motor (front and rear) set-up. 

Outlander PHEV driving shot
There are seven drive modes available for use in many different situations.

Active Yaw Control helps to distribute power between the front and rear wheels according to road conditions, with torque vectoring using the brakes on the left and right wheels to aid traction and improve turn-in. 

There are seven drive modes available for the new Outlander PHEV – Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, Mud, Power and Eco, all of which are pretty self-explanatory. 

The 2022 PHEV also includes an evolved version of the ‘MI-PILOT’ safety guidance software that uses adaptive cruise control along with lane-keep assist to help the driver stay in a lane in highway situations.  

Outlander PHEV rear 3/4
We like the look of the now modern and muscular Mitsubishi Outlander.

Australian line-up

Expect the new Outlander PHEV (which Mitsubishi Australia will market as ‘Plug-in Hybrid’) to arrive in Australia during the first quarter of 2022 in a three-model line-up – mirroring the previous-generation Outlander PHEV range and the recently launched Eclipse Cross PHEV.

Given its new drivetrain tech and all-new design, it’s likely the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will carry a decent price premium over the older-tech Eclipse Cross.