Mitsubishi has high hope for its new hybrid contender, the Outlander PHEV.
Indeed, this impressive vehicle may account for half of all Mitsubishi Outlander sales in the UK.
With its 32-mile range, buyers will be interested in this since it has a 2.0litre petrol engine, two 60KW electric motors and a 70KW generator.
Mitsubishi have opted for an unusual make-up for the Outlander PHEV’s permanent four-wheel drive with the petrol engine powering the front and the electric motors driving the rear ones.
One of the issues with hybrids is trying to recharge their batteries from a domestic supply and the Outlander PHEV will, Mitsubishi claims, be able to recharge its batteries in just four hours from a domestic socket.
In a rush? Then the batteries can be recharged in just 30 minutes for 80% of the charge.
The latest technology is also being used since the vehicle also uses regenerative braking technology (it picks up some of the energy being used when braking) to recharge the battery packs.
Once fully charged, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will travel for 32 miles on electric power – and with both power sources, the car will deliver an impressive range of 557 miles.
There’s not much difference in the loss of space inside (unlike many hybrids which sacrifice cabin space to fit the big batteries in). In fact, it’s around 14 litres less for the hybrid.
The new Outlander has some minor design tweaks and it’s still a great handling car.
Mitsubishi have a good track record for producing electric powered cars and they have big plans for their new technology with more models in their line-up set to benefit from the PHEV option.
The Outlander PHEV goes on sale this summer and prices will be revealed nearer to the official launch date but don’t expect the car to cost less than £35,000 – though it should qualify for the Government’s £5,000 grant for ‘green’ cars.
Hybrid cars carry a premium but it should be interesting to see how they compare with leasing packages.