Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance to form what is now the Renault-Nissan Alliance, where each automaker in competition with the other, but is not independent of the other. More of a joint venture than a merger, each automaker is working to create technologies and platforms that could be shared between all three companies. At the same time, each automaker is set out to make a better vehicle than the other. The current focus? Crossovers, SUVs, alternative fuel technology, and autonomous technology.
Known as “Alliance 2022”, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started a six-year plan. With the plan heavily relying on cross-brand platform sharing and the sharing of powertrains, electrification, connectivity, and autonomous drive technologies. By 2022, the alliance has sale projections that land somewhere over 14 million units sold in a year. It’s a pretty big number, but so far, it doesn’t seem impossible. Over the course of 2018, and after the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors alone clearly has some big plans.
Years ago, the Mitsubishi Lancer and Mitsubishi Eclipse sports cars died out. In an attempt to bring them back, Mitsubishi released what is now known as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Although the last in-house vehicle by Mitsubishi Motors, the Eclipse Cross quickly became the cornerstone of the future for Mitsubishi – it may not be sports cars, but it will be sporty cars. One of their newest concepts yet to be unveiled, along the same lines of the rebirth of the Mitsubishi Eclipse as a crossover, is a Lancer Crossover.
Not many people are thrilled. Yet, not many people liked the idea of Mitsubishi turning the Eclipse sports car into a crossover, and it’s one of the automaker’s hottest vehicles. In 2018, some started to think the e-Evolution, said to be a high-performance SUV may become the next Lancer. High-performance sounds like a term used for sports cars, and just think if the new Lancer crossover had some of the Lancer Evolution DNA. It sure would be a sports car, crossover or not.
Right now, the main focus for Mitsubishi Motors is alternative fuel technology and autonomous technology, and less so sports car. We saw a lot of autonomous tech from Mitsubishi Motors sister company, Mitsubishi Electric, at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. The most recent concept from Mitsubishi is the Engelberg Tourer plug-in hybrid, said to replace the six-year-old Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The Outlander plug-in may have only made it to American shores in 2017, but its age is showing.
The Engelberg Tourer is the new PHEV on the block, and although only a concept, the display car at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show already looks production ready. Powered by a larger engine than the Outlander PHEV (2.0-liter), the Engelberg Tourer powertrain is made up of a 2.4-liter gas engine and most likely a larger, different battery. Although not specified, the Outlander PHEV battery counterpart is a 12 kilowatt-hour battery, and it has an electric range of 22 miles. The Engelberg Tourer is said to be able to travel 43 miles, by European standards, on electricity alone. That’s about 40 by U.S. standards and nearly double the Outlander PHEV.
Also on the horizon for the Engelberg Tourer is a new lifestyle piece Mitsubishi displayed at the Geneva Motor Show. Known as the Dendo Drive House (DDH), Mitsubishi wants to let consumers power their entire homes with the power of the sun and their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), starting with the Engelberg Tourer. It all feels like a long time away, but in only a few years, look at all that Mitsubishi Motors has done. When the automaker sets out to do something, it surely produces results.
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