Competition is finally catching up, but Mitsubishi is about to move the goalposts with its new Outlander PHEV.
It’s due in the first quarter of 2022 and will offer a third row of seating for the first time.
The new Outlander PHEV will be both more powerful and feature greater pure-electric range than the outgoing model, with Mitsubishi touting both improved motor output and increased battery capacity.
Mitsubishi has yet to reveal any technical details about what will power the new Outlander PHEV, though it’s released a couple of teaser images.
A more sophisticated take on the current all-wheel drive setup plus bi-directional charging are expected to feature.
Mitsubishi said in 2018 it’s targeting between 80km and 100km of pure-electric range from its plug-in hybrid system.
The current Outlander PHEV has a claimed electric range of 54km under the more lenient NEDC cycle and uses a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 94kW and 199Nm, a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery, and electric motors on the front and rear axles with 60kW/137Nm and 70kW/195Nm, respectively.
Mitsubishi doesn’t specify the combined outputs.
Expect the PHEV to receive only the subtlest aesthetic tweaks over the regular Outlander, such as the badging featured in the teaser images and potentially different wheel designs.
With the introduction of the smaller Eclipse Cross PHEV, the next Outlander PHEV will likely be priced higher than the outgoing model.
The Eclipse Cross PHEV range is priced from $46,490 to $53,990 before on-road costs, while the current Outlander PHEV range is priced from $47,990 to $56,490 before on-roads.
The regular Outlander, due in either September or October 2021, has already been revealed and features a much more upmarket interior.
At 4710mm long, 1862mm wide, and 1748mm wide with a 2706mm wheelbase, the car is significantly larger than its predecessor.
It’s 51mm wider, 38mm taller, and 15mm longer than before, with a 36mm longer wheelbase.
A full suite of driver aids will be offered, including forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic assist, blind-spot assist, a surround-view camera, and driver attention monitoring.
Like the related 2022 Nissan X-Trail, there’s a 9.0-inch central touchscreen and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.8-inch head-up display.
There’s also wireless phone charging, USB-A and USB-C ports, and a huge range of smartphone storage options across all three seating rows.
The Outlander PHEV debuted globally in 2013 but has faced very little in the way of competition.
MG introduced a plug-in hybrid version of its mid-sized HS earlier in 2021, though it lacks the Outlander’s all-wheel drive.
It has total outputs of 189kW of power and 370Nm of torque and an electric range of 52km under the WLTP cycle.
Meanwhile, Ford has had to delay its Escape PHEV multiple times. That’s a knock-on effect from a series of fires in Europe, which led to a production stop.
The Escape PHEV is now due in early 2022. It’ll produce 167kW of power and over over 50km of range.
Peugeot will launch a 3008 PHEV later in 2021 with combined output of 221kW from its engine and motor power, and an EV range of 59km WLTP.
The Volkswagen Group will also introduce its Cupra brand in 2022, with the sporty Formentor mid-sized SUV set to offer a plug-in hybrid version with a total system output of 180kW and electric range of 55km.
MORE: Everything Mitsubishi Outlander