Over the last few years, Mitsubishi Motors has fiddled with a few new concepts, but nothing has some of them yet. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, as successful as it is, is starting to show its age, and Mitsubishi wants to find its replacement. At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, there was the Engelberg Tourer, followed by the Mi-TECH at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Neither of these concepts ever resurfaced again during the calamity of 2020, and now in 2021, Mitsubishi has released another concept, but the automaker has also revealed a finished model for production, the AIRTEK.
Possible Replacements for the Outlander PHEV
The first contended and the one that made the most sense was the Engelberg Tourer. Much like the Outlander PHEV, the Engelberg Tourer was sporty but luxurious. Designed for consumers that like to go off-road year-round, this new concept was outfitted with Mitsubishi Motors Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system with an Active Yaw Control (AYC) for better torque control in various driving conditions. Also like the Outlander PHEV, the Engelberg Tourer had a plug-in hybrid powertrain with two electric motors (one in the front and one in the rear). Simply a more advanced version of the plug-in hybrid SUV, we expected this to be released in 2020, but clearly not.
Mi-TECH was another contender but was more so its own thing altogether. Revealed in Tokyo in 2019, the Mi-Tech is another plug-in hybrid concept that showed promise. Changing the combination of previous plug-in hybrid models in the lineup – a gasoline internal combustion engine and two electric motors – the automaker replaced the former with a gas turbine generator and added two more electric motors, affixing one to each wheel rather just two, one for each axle. Did we mention the Mi-Tech was a dune buggy? Again, this one disappeared.
In May 2020, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance took some time to assure the auto market that it was going to bounce back from 2020 and was starting a new business strategy. 2020 was the mid-point of Alliance 2022, the business plans set out by the Alliance in 2018. The new business strategy was going to follow a “Follow-the-Leader” pattern. Just like it sounds, one automaker is chosen to lead the pack on the release of a new model, and depending on its sales, the other two will follow. Each automaker will first release the model in its respective region before expanding into other territory for some healthy competition.
Mitsubishi Motors was selected to go first, set to release a vehicle in the “C” or “D” car segment. It’s very vague, but it left a lot of room for the possibility of a sedan finally being added to the lineup, and when Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) announced that Ralliart was coming back, theories about the return of the Lancer Evolution spread through the internet. This was only fueled by the released pictures of the Mitsubishi Starion 4WD, a never-before produced vehicle by Ralliart.
The return of the Lancer EVO series would be great, and we’re rooting for it, because the only other contender for the model Mitsubishi Motors is releasing as a part of the Alliance would be the Airtek. An electric SUV, the Airtek isn’t too flashy. The SUV comes with one electric motor capable of 180 horsepower, and aside from the new take on the signature Mitsubishi “Dynamic Shield”, it’s looking a little bland. Mitsubishi revealed a production model of the Airtek, but seeing as how it will only be sold in the Chinese market, we don’t think this is the replacement for the Outlander PHEV or the mystery C-D vehicle.
Maybe Mitsubishi decided the Outlander PHEV doesn’t need a replacement just yet. With all this plug-in hybrid SUV has to offer, it is one of Mitsubishi Motors best selling models. Come check out the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at Miami Lakes Automall.