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Mitsubishi Challenges the PHEV Competition with the New Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Motors has been going through some changes ever since it joined the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, but those changes have been slow to bear new fruits. We’ve seen the automaker release new generation models of most vehicles in its lineup, and several models are getting a Ralliart Special Edition, starting with the Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart model. The Mitsubishi XFC Concept shown at the Vietnam Motor Show 2022 looks promising, but we have no clue if it will be produced, let alone come to America. We’re still wondering why the Mitsubishi Triton pickup truck isn’t here yet. So, we have the current lineup as an example of what Mitsubishi Motors can do, and the Outlander PHEV is the latest model to tout some upgrades that give it an edge over the competition.

Power

The recent 2022 model of the Outlander PHEV was already pretty strong, sporting an AC synchronous permanent magnetic motor with a 60kW motor in the front and a 70kW motor in the rear, plus a 2.4 liter inline-four-cylinder engine able to generate 126 horsepower. Together, it could generate about 300 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. The PHEV has an all-electric range (AER) of 24 miles before needing to switch to gasoline. In 2023, the fuel tank got 0.2 more gallons to spare, and although it may not seem very grand, the electric powertrain comes with a larger battery pack, pushing the (AER) up to 38 miles, with 420 miles of overall range. Oddly enough, the output has dropped to a combined 248-horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque with a twin-motor system, possibly making the electric part of the powertrain more powerful for that extended range whilst dropping some power in the gasoline engine.

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Mitsubishi Unveils XFC Concept During Vietnam Motor Show 2022

Back in May 2020, just as things were getting shaky in the states, and across the globe, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared its mid-term plans for Alliance 2023. At the time, that was the name of the business strategy the Alliance was working on before extending to 2030 like so many other automakers. Two years ago, the new business strategy announced a new “Follow the Leader” theme, where one automaker would release a new vehicle in its respective region, and depending on its success, the other automakers would release their own version in their respective regions. Mitsubishi Motors was first in line, and after that rebadge of the Renault Clio hybrid, we were worried the Japanese automaker gave up. It would seem not all hope is lost with the new Mitsubishi XFC Concept at the Vietnam Motor Show 2022.

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Mitsubishi Reveals 2023 Outlander PHEV Upgrades

Mitsubishi Motors has been squeezing all it can out of its current lineup before moving onto more electrified models. With a next generation model for most vehicles in the lineup in 2022, 2023 brings a few more upgrades and starts off the Ralliart special edition models, starting with the Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart. Some say it could be the full return of Ralliart sports cars, but for now, it’s just for appearances. The most recent model to get a little extra love is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. With the 2023 model recently announced, some new tech has been added, plus a range-topping 40th Anniversary Edition.

“Since its introduction, Outlander PHEV has provided a unique blend of electric power and gasoline range.  For most customers, a PHEV that allows up to 38 miles of clean and efficient all-electric motoring, combined with the ease of refueling of a gasoline engine, is the perfect transportation solution.  This allows most users to spend the bulk of their daily driving needs using electric power, but still allows up to 420 miles of total range for a weekend full of exploring…We were the first PHEV SUV to market when the car launched globally in 2012, and now we’re adding more power, more range, more inspiring technology, and more convenience, providing an even better value for owners and resetting the standard by which all PHEVs should be measured.” – Mark Chaffin, MMNA CEO

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Mitsubishi Motors North America Sales Continue to Rise in 2022

Mitsubishi Motors has been releasing next-generation models of nearly every model in the lineup, and for those that aren’t getting a renewal, they’re getting the Ralliart treatment instead. We can clearly see this with the next-gen 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, upgraded for the new model year, whereas the Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4 seem to be forgotten. Well, the Mirage G4 has anyway, since the Mitsubishi Mirage will also be coming out with a special Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart Edition. Overseas, Mitsubishi Motors is getting some help with group partner Renault, of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, with a rebadged Renault Clio hybrid, to regain its footing. Here in the states, however, Mitsubishi has been making a comeback, and the automaker has the sales to prove it.

Every quarter this year (that’s every three months, from Q1 – Q4), Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) seems to be having better sales as opposed to previous years. For the third quarter of 2022, the automaker reported a total of 16,782 vehicles for Q3. That’s a 20.5-percent increase as opposed to 2021. On top of that, in terms of year-to-date sales (as in 2022 from January to September), the automaker has seen a 43.3-percent increase in sales. It’s all thanks to the new generation Mitsubishi Outlander and Eclipse Cross models.

When the new generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander was released in 2022, this SUV made the Japanese automaker profitable again in the states. New styling changes and upgrades, including full-LED headlights and 20-inch wheels, followed by a suite of technology services available to consumers, such as an advanced 10-speaker Bose sound system with digital subwoofers, it really did feel like a new Outlander SUV. The success shows in the total sales, with the Outlander selling 30,481 units this year – that’s the second-best year-to-date performance for the SUV in the nameplate’s entire history, dating back to 2001.

Another fan favorite is the Outlander PHEV, known as the automaker’s most popular plug-in hybrid model. With the last of the 2022 models sold in July, MMNA expects a substantial sales increase with the next-generation of the 2023 model hitting dealership showrooms in November 2022. The early sellout of Outlander plug-in must be why only six sold during Q3 2022, but a total of 1,132 units were sold over the course of the year, only 500 less than 2021. There will be a slight increase for the 2023 Outlander PHEV, now with a starting MSRP of $39,845 (plus destination fee), this might be the last year before the new flagship – the Eclipse Cross PHEV – takes over.

We’re also looking forward to the rest of the Ralliart special edition models and what they could bring to the table. The Mitsubishi Mirage Ralliart Edition is mainly body graphics with some mud flaps and bolder wheel arches. Not much, but word has it that the Ralliart special editions could just be the start of MMNA returning to rally races and producing sports cars. At least, that’s how it sounds according to Mitsubishi Motors President Takao Kato during an interview with automotive media publication Response.

“We will also consider involvement in rallies…We made a big loss in the previous fiscal year, so we want to revive the company first and then give out as many cars as possible that fans are waiting for.” – Kato

What could that mean? If Mitsubishi Motors sales continue to do well, especially in North America, perhaps a sports car will finally be added to the mix. It’s been two years since Mitsubishi Motors announced a new model, and we haven’t seen anything. Here’s hoping it’s more akin to a sports car and not just the rebadged Clio that was under wraps during the Mitsubishi conference about the new generation model lineup. Interested to learn why consumers are going nuts over the Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander PHEV? Find new Mitsubishi models at Miami Lakes Automall.

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Media