Tag Archives: mi-tech

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Is Mitsubishi Replacing the Outlander PHEV?

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.

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2023 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Render

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There has been a lot of guessing at what Mitsubishi Motors is up to next. After the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance held a virtual press conference in May 2020 to share business strategies for the Alliance going forward, one of the highlights is that the first new model to come from the automotive group will be coming from none other than Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. A mini electric vehicle designed by Nissan and Mitsubishi was previously launched in Japan, Mitsubishi previewed the AIRTEK at the Shanghai Auto Show, and eventually, Mitsubishi will adopt and rebadge a Renault vehicle to gain a foothold in the European market, already leaving the UK after auctioning off the last Lancer EVO VI Tommi Makinen Edition. Hold that thought, because none of the above is the C-D segment vehicle Mitsubishi has promised us –could it be the new Mitsubishi Lancer?

C-segment vehicles are the 3rd category used for passenger cars, typically described as “medium cars”, but can range between “small family car” and even “compact car” in the states. D-segment vehicles are the 4th category, and although known as “large family cars”, present day D-segment vehicles are known as mid-size and muscle cars. You can feel it, can’t you? Mitsubishi Motors might be breaking away from SUVs – finally – and bringing back what we all want.

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A Review of Alternative Fuel Vehicles from Mitsubishi

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Because automakers all around the world have paused production during the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it would be a good time to review some of the interesting moves automakers have made in the industry up to this point. One automaker that has kept us guessing it Mitsubishi Motors. With their sister company Mitsubishi Electric always unveiling some futuristic technology for upcoming vehicles, we wonder how advanced the next concept will be. We’ve also seen a variety of alternative fuel vehicles from Mitsubishi, with the latest MI-TECH Concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show a real change in design. How did Mitsubishi Motors get here?

Older Models

Possibly the first dip into alternative fuel vehicles for Mitsubishi Motors was the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. An all-electric vehicle, this was a steppingstone for Mitsubishi Motors, having produced the first highway-capable electric vehicle (EV). Not only that, but the i-MiEV won awards for its value, a gem for EVs at the time, able to drive 59 miles on a single charge with no emissions. Several systems were also on board to increase range, such as a regenerative braking system and an on-board battery charging system. The i-MiEV didn’t last for long in the U.S. however, and Mitsubishi decided to bring a different alternative fuel vehicle stateside.

Although the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had already seen its fair share of years overseas, the plug-in hybrid SUV has only been in the states for a few years. Another winner of awards, the Outlander PHEV was up to the same level of quality of most plug-in hybrids of the time. With an EPA estimated 74 MPGe and the ability to travel 22 miles emissions-free on electricity, the Outlander PHEV was a step in a new direction, with two electric motors making up the powertrain, one on each axle.

Newer Concepts

Mitsubishi Motors has been actively debuting new concepts for the past two years. Auto shows have been cancelled indefinitely for 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic, but in 2019, Mitsubishi Motors wowed us with the Engelberg Tourer SUV concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and again at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show with their new MI-TECH concept. The former, a plug-in hybrid SUV, is meant to replace the aging Outlander PHEV, giving it a more robust and adventurous look, and is shaping up to be an SUV consumers could take to the racetrack with Mitsubishi Motors Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system.

Going further, Mitsubishi Motors changed the way we look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show. Mi-TECH, unveiled in an electric buggy, is not your usual gasoline engine/electric motor setup. Doubling down on the design of the original Outlander PHEV, the Mitsubishi Mi-TECH concept comes with four electric motors, one for each wheel, but changes things up by replacing the standard gasoline internal combustion engine with a gas turbine generator. Although output has yet to be released, we can only imagine a turbine generator would be more powerful than an automotive engine. Time will tell.

Want to learn more about new concepts coming from Mitsubishi Motors? Follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi
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Mitsubishi Motors’ Contributions to the Renault-Nissan Alliance

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When Mitsubishi Motors first joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it was quickly becoming a great move for the automaker. Soon after, there was talk about a cross-brand EV platform from Nissan, and re-badged Renault vehicles, and Mitsubishi Motors was quick to make use of Alliance resources to expand. However, Mitsubishi Motors seems to be the only Alliance partner moving the needle with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mitsubishi Mi-TECH system. According to Alliance Plans, Mitsubishi Motors is only supposed to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development, but Mitsubishi Electric is having a lot of success with the xAUTO, and when it comes to mobile solutions, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is the one getting the contract. Are Renault or Nissan even doing anything at this point?

Mitsubishi Motors > Renault-Nissan?

Most recently, we finally got some news about what Renault and Nissan are bringing to the Alliance. During the mid-term business plan announcement, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance discussed a triangle concept where each automaker would be in charge of two goals out of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, electric vehicle (EV) technology, and autonomous cars. It’s been three years and so far all that seems to be coming out of Renault is a Mitsubishi-branded version of the Renault Trafic van at its factory in Sandouville, France. So, in other words, a rebadged van…like Mitsubishi Motors needs more of that.

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Revisiting the Possibilities of the Mitsubishi Triton

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Mitsubishi Motors sure made a comeback after joining up with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, now the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The Alliance discussed their mid-term plans in early February 2020, with a lot of developments already taking place. Nissan recently revealed a cross-brand EV platform, currently in development is a Mitsubishi-branded version of the Renault Trafic van, and in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development, Mitsubishi has released two new hybrid concepts to the auto market. With the growing lineup, vehicles once overseas may finally come ashore. With that in mind, we’re taking a look back at one vehicle Mitsubishi Motors has been on the fence about bringing to the U.S. – the Mitsubishi Triton Pickup Truck.

Why wouldn’t Mitsubishi Motors bring their pickup truck to the North American shore is a wild guess. It’s the perfect time for off-road trucks, especially mid-size trucks, where the gap is large and the segment currently thin with competition. The 2019 Mitsubishi Triton got an upgrade for its fifth-generation and can tango with the big boys. According to Mitsubishi Motors North America CEO Fred Diaz, every meeting ends with a question about the introduction of a truck to the lineup, so the desire is there.

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New Business Plans to be Announced by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

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Ever since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was formed in 2017, and later announced Alliance 2022 and its six-year plan, there hasn’t been a lot of word on what is going on. Yes, we hear about the occasional investment the Alliance makes through Alliance 2022, a $1 billion fundraising campaign started to help develop new startups and entrepreneurs in technology for self-driving robotaxis, car sharing networks, new EV batteries, and new forms of EV charging. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much talk about plans for 2022, two years away. When we take a look at the past few years, progress has slowly been building, and after a meeting between the top leaders of each automaker, the three agreed to share new medium-term business plans around May 2020.

This is great news! Assuming the six-year plan started in 2018 (although it’s more like five years if it ends in 2022), the Alliance is at the halfway point and thus has new plans to put into play at the halfway point. Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) have all agreed to share their respective new medium-term business plans following an agreement at a meeting held between the top leaders of the three-way automotive alliance at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Nissan President Makoto Uchida had this to say –

“Under the plans, one with the greatest competitiveness will lead the other two in each category, such as compact cars and electric vehicles.”

Simply put, the Alliance is turning into a triangle of sorts. One automaker with success and already proving to be a competitive name in the industry will share technology and success with the other two so that they may also be successful while still remaining competitive internally as well as externally. This is abundantly clear with Mitsubishi Motors, initially slated to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development. We could say the automaker is already well on its way with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mi-TECH concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, a plug-in hybrid electric engine that replaces the need for an internal combustion engine with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator powerful enough to drive a small SUV, and able to be powered by various fuel sources, including diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.

When it came to electric vehicle technology, Mitsubishi Motors had okay success with the i-MieV, but the Nissan Leaf has been a success story for all-electric vehicles and Nissan. As luck would have it, Nissan also recently announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that will not only be available to all three automakers for future all-electric and battery-electric vehicles, but will also be flexible. This means that the new platform can be utilized by either automaker, and changed based on the size, style, and purpose of its intended use, and most likely different powertrains as well.

Could we see an electric Mitsubishi Mirage? The next-gen Mitsubishi Mirage is supposed to be based on the Nissan Juke, and if electric vehicles and compact cars are on the docket for mid-term business plans, is it really such a farfetched idea? We don’t think so. Tell us your thoughts. Join the discussion about the promising new business plans on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: nippon.com
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Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Talk New Cross-Brand EV Platform

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Back when Mitsubishi Motors first joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance, there was a lot of talk about what kind of technology the three automakers would share. When it came to Mitsubishi, a lot of the automaker’s success in alternative fuel stemmed mainly from the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Working towards alternative fuel vehicles and self-driving technology, the Alliance intended to produce more PHEVs using technology from Mitsubishi and more electric vehicles, or EVs, using the success of all-electric vehicles from Nissan, the Nissan Leaf. A concept for a cross-brand EV platform was the first objective on the list, but quickly disappeared for three years. Finally, in January 2020, a discussion about the cross-brand EV platform has popped back up, and it definitely seems to be coming from the Nissan leg of the Alliance.

It has been some time now since Nissan did anything with an all-electric vehicle. The Nissan Leaf came out in 2009 with big EV ambitions, but aside from a second-generation model, the automaker didn’t do much. Part of the success intended for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was the production of cross-brand EV technology. A lot of this was detailed in their Alliance 2022 six-year mid-term plan, focused on cross-brand platform sharing of platforms and powertrains, electrification, connectivity, and autonomous drive technologies. The first step, platforms and powertrains, are already in development.

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The MI-TECH Has Entered the Building

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The 2019 Tokyo Motor Show has started (October 24-November 4), and Mitsubishi Motors was quick to show off their newest SUV concept, the Mitsubishi MI-TECH. Not only is this new SUV concept another plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) design by Mitsubishi but it’s another revolution on how plug-in hybrid vehicles operate. Earlier this year, Mitsubishi Motors debuted their Engelberg Tourer Plug-in SUV at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and with this new MI-TECH concept, it’s clear the automaker is focused on designing numerous alternative fuel vehicles for a number of lifestyles. Take a look at all MI-TECH has to offer.

The Name

What’s in a name? Well, there’s a lot going on in the name for the newest SUV concept from Mitsubishi Motors. In a sense, it’s an acronym:

        Mitsubishi

        Intelligent

        Technology

When the MI-TECH was first conceived, it was meant to be a small plug-in hybrid SUV. What developed was a PHEV designed with a lightweight, compact, new PHEV drivetrain and a four-motor electric 4WD system. Introducing futuristic technology, Mitsubishi equipped the concept with advanced driver assist and preventive safety technologies, introducing MI-Pillot.

New PHEV drivetrain

When Mitsubishi Motors released the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the plug-in hybrid SUV has a different approach to a PHEV powertrain. Instead of one gasoline internal combustion engine and one electric motor powered by a large battery, Mitsubishi put two electric motors on the Outlander PHEV, one on each axle. For the MI-TECH concept, the automaker changed it up again. Mitsubishi replaced the traditional gasoline engine with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator. Not only is it powerful enough to drive a small SUV, but it can operate on a variety of fuel sources: diesel, kerosene, and alcohol. Regardless of the fuel, MI-TEC has clean exhaust to better the environment.

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Electric 4WD

In addition to replacing the gasoline engine with a turbine engine-generator, Mitsubishi also put an electric motor behind each wheel – that’s four electric motors powering the MI-TECH. There aren’t any specs yet released on the horsepower or torque output of this setup, but Mitsubishi did find a way to double-down on this kind of control. By applying their Super All-Wheel Control traction system to the Quad Motor 4WD System with front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) units, Mitsubishi made this small SUV as stable as can be. In addition to making the MI-TECH concept safe, Mitsubishi also introduced a new trick – 180-degree spins by counter-rotating the left and right tires. That’ll be some U-turn!

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Enhanced Driver Assistance and Safety

The new thing slowly entering the auto industry is artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Known as a Human Machine Interface (HMI), the MI-TECH concept comes with technology that projects all the information a driver may need to know about the car behavior, terrain recognition, and optimal route guidance onto the windshield. Instead of a heads-up display, this is what is known as an augmented reality (AR) windshield and is another piece of tech entering the auto industry. While driving, even in poor visibility, drivers will be able to safely navigate the roads with an AR windshield. Furthermore, with MI-PILOT equipped, MI-TECh comes with next-generation driver assistance technology to help support the driver in a variety of driving conditions and roads.

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It’s a Buggy

No one could probably predict the next small SUV from Mitsubishi would look like a buggy, but that’s what the MI-TECH is. A small SUV with no roof or doors but an interesting design, nonetheless. Mitsubishi is highlighting the progressiveness of their electric vehicle by painting it in a light blue body color contrasted by copper on the grille, inner wheels, and interior. The front fascia has been upgraded with a Dynamic Shield design and T-shaped headlights. Raised overfenders and large diameter tires offer a high level of mobility and sharp lines run throughout the rugged body of the SUV. T-shaped tail lamps can also be found in the rear, mimicking the front fascia.

Inside, thanks to the AR windshield, the center console is pretty tame. Like a buggy, the dashboard is flat and horizontal, and keyboard-shaped switches are positioned atop with a hand pad that makes the switches easy to operate. All-in-all this looks like one sick SUV.

Check out all there is to know about the new MI-TECH from Mitsubishi Motors and share your thoughts on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

 

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Motors