The highly-anticipated second-generation Outlander plug-in hybrid is scheduled to go on sale on August 15 at a starting price of $54,590 before on-road costs
The plug-in hybrid is based on the most recent, fourth-generation Outlander platform that was released locally in petrol form in November 2021. With a full charge, the new PHEV will be capable of travelling 87km on electricity alone (WLTP).
Like the petrol-only Outlander grades, the plug-in hybrid will be available with a choice of five- or seven-seats. The previous generation, which launched in 2013, was a five-seat only proposition.
Mitsubishi has continued to lead development of the PHEV technology beneath the Outlander, but the vehicle sits atop a shared Renault–Nissan-Mitsubishi CMF-CD platform that will also run under the forthcoming Nissan X-Trail.
The 2022 Outlander plug-in hybrid range will begin with the $54,590 ES five-seat model and will run right up to the flagship Exceed Tourer seven-seater which costs $68,490 before on-road costs.
The Outlander plug-in hybrid has a 20kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is supported by two electric motors and a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle internal combustion engine.
This system can run in electric-only mode for up to 87km (WLTP), while returning a claimed combined fuel economy of 1.5L/100km.
Two electric motors are installed within the drivetrain of the Outlander plug-in hybrid, with one mounted on each axle to provide all-wheel drive response.
The front motor generates 85kW of power (an increase of 25kW on the last generation PHEV) while the rear mounted electric motor produces 100kW (an increase of 30kW on the old model).
Those outputs are considerably more generous than most PHEVs, meaning the Outlander plug-in hybrid should feel strong enough to drive on electric power alone without needing the petrol engine to kick in under moderately hard acceleration.
The rear electric motor has been integrated to become a smaller package than before, and this helps make more rear seat room in order to accommodate the two rear seats.
Mitsubishi says that the electric motors help in “delivering drive to the wheels that can best deploy it faster than is possible from a conventional tail shaft-driven AWD system”.
The 2.4-litre Atkinson cycle combustion engine generates a total output of 98kW and is mainly used as a generator, but can be used in a series-parallel mode where it actually drives the wheels of the car.
In previous-generation form, the Outlander PHEV’s petrol engine acted as a generator only.
Combined total outputs for the Outlander plug-in hybrid is 185kW/450Nm.
The 20kWh lithium-ion battery pack has been redesigned and now has a storage capacity that is 45 percent larger than the previous version with its 13.8kWh pack.
Significant engineering work has gone into the onboard battery’s cooling system which actually utilises the vehicle’s air conditioning unit.
There are six regeneration levels which the driver can choose from, which allows the onboard battery to take on charge from the energy created by the braking system. Mitsubishi has said, however, that the brake pedal must still be used in the highest regeneration mode, so the system is clearly not a ‘one-pedal’ operation like some modern EVs or hybrids.
When you want or need to charge the onboard battery, the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid is capable of charging in three different modes: Mode 2 (240v AC domestic), Mode 3 (240AV AC fast charge) or Mode 4 (DC). Charge time runs from 12 hours to just 38 minutes from 0-80 percent using DC charging in Mode 4.
Outlander PHEV ES – five-seat
Just like the rest of the Outlander range, the plug-in hybrid version kicks off with the entry-level ES grade in five-seat configuration, at a price of $54,590 before on-road costs.
As standard, the Outlander PHEV ES is fitted with a cloth interior, a huge 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, dual-zone climate control, and a six-speaker audio system mated to a 9.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.
Mitsubishi has placed the ES grade on 18-inch alloy wheels, featuring alongside other exterior benefits like LED headlights and tail-lights as standard.
The Outlander recently scored five stars during ANCAPs safety testing thanks not only to an array of airbags but also a wealth of standard active safety features which include:
Outlander PHEV Aspire – five-seat
Stepping up to the Aspire grade ($60,990) retains the five-seat layout but gives the exterior a bit of a spruce up by adding a new front and rear bumper design and switching to larger 20-inch wheels.
Buyers also net LED fog lights, a ‘combination’ seat trim and a leather steering wheel, along with other interior features like a power-adjustable seat for the driver and seat heating for both front-row occupants.
A heads-up display becomes standard on the Outlander PHEV Aspire, as do rain-sensing wipers, a power tailgate, wireless phone charging and Mitsubishi’s vehicle-to-load system which features two 240 volt sockets in the cabin.
Strangely, Mitsubishi has not made reversing AEB standard, (despite its crucial functionality) and instead lumps it in with other features like rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera on Aspire grades and up.
Outlander PHEV Exceed – seven-seat
At $65,990 before on-roads, the Outlander PHEV Exceed is the first in the hybrid range to adopt a seven-seat (referred to as five + two) layout.
For the extra cash, Mitsubishi adds quilted leather-appointed seat trim in a choice of either black or light grey and power adjustment for the front passenger side.
The cabin also gains three-zone climate control, pull-up sunshades in the second row and a nine-speaker Bose Premium sound system.
Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer – seven-seat
Sitting at the top of the range of the Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer, which is priced at $68,490 before on-road costs.
The Exceed Tourer is the only grade to offer a two-tonne exterior body colour along with black and saddle tan high-grade leather upholstery.
While the majority of the features carry over from the Exceed, the Exceed Tourer does gain a massage function not offered to the rest of the range.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
Additional reporting by Tom Place
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