Posts Tagged ‘tokyo motor show’
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
The Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has its hand in a lot of pockets in different industries. It’s not a bad idea, to spread oneself to have multiple means of success. This is especially true when it comes to the Mitsubishi Motors automaker and Mitsubishi Electric. The former we all know too well, but the latter isn’t talked about nearly as much. Thought to only be a supplier of electric appliances and infrastructure, Mitsubishi Electric actually plays a role in designing, developing, and producing much of the future technology going into Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. From the self-driving autonomous technology at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show to the artificial intelligence at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Electric will be changing the way we look at cars with an advanced Human-Machine Interface (HMI).
Virtual Assistants and HMIs
Today, many people own some form of virtual assistant or platform with a human-machine-interface. Anyone who owns an Amazon Alexa or Google Home has a virtual assistant, and most of us who own one use it every day, from setting an alarm clock to making shopping lists, and even video calls with the Echo Show. Anyone who talks to their TV to search for content or perform a function knows what it’s like to have an HMI on hand when the remote is all the way across the couch.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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
When it comes to alternative fuel vehicles, there was once a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about electric motors and their place in the auto industry. Electric motors? How could that compete with the full throttle high-performance horsepower of an octane-burning internal combustion engine? Is there an electric motor out there able to produce horsepower in the high triple digits? Maybe, but when it comes to electric motors, where they really shine is torque. As we all know, torque is what turns the wheels, and torque can also be used to offer the driver better control over a vehicle. Automaker Mitsubishi Motors saw this as an opportunity to work on a new concept coming to the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show – Mi-Tech.
What is Mi-Tech?
A lot of information is still being saved for the Tokyo Motor Show, this October 23, 2019, but Mitsubishi press continues to give little bits of information. At first, all we knew was the automaker planned to introduce a new electric SUV concept at the auto show – but why so soon after the debut of the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show? Remember that interesting concept? The Engelberg Tourer was introduced as the next plug-in hybrid SUV that may one day replace the aging Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
It may not seem like the Outlander plug-in hybrid SUV is very old, having just been introduced to U.S. soil a few years ago, but the Outlander PHEV has had a long run on a global scale. Recently, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hit a milestone of 200,000 units sold, and the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is getting some upgrades in its golden years. For those that like to drive in luxury, consumers will find most of the upgrades available to the high-end trims in the lineup, the SEL and GT trims. Both come equipped with a new second-generation Smartphone-link Display Audio system for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and the GT trim also comes with a new Mitsubishi Power Sound System that is replacing the Rockford-Fosgate audio system on previous models going forward.
Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric came to the Tokyo Motor Show and had two brand new concepts to show off. These were the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, destined to bring back the “EVO” nameplate previously thought to be discontinued, but new plans for a Lancer Crossover by Mitsubishi may have taken over – actually, it may be the same concept based on the digital renders. The second concept was Emirai4, a self-driving vehicle currently in the testing phase. Two years later, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) is packing heat. Their hand in the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Alliance Ventures has paid off. With their recent partnership with MaaS Global Oy, a whole new vision is about to take off.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy
MaaS Global Oy is the company behind an overseas mobile app called Whim. It’s basically a ride-hailing app that rolls all the various apps, cards, and payment methods for buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more into just one app. It basically offers everyone (in Helsingin seudun liikenne, Finland) the ability to subscribe to a plan that gives them access to all of these transportation services – public, personal, and even rentals. Since it launched in 2017, the service has expanded to Birmingham, U.K. and Antwerp, Belgium, and with a recent investment by Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Toyotsa Financing Solutions, MaaS Global plans to expand to Vienna, Singapore; several cities in Japan; and eventually over to the states in Miami and Chicago, and again in North America in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
Remember back in the spring of 2017 when Mitsubishi Motors started talking up its autonomous vehicle technology? It’s okay if not, there actually hasn’t been a whole lot of news on self-driving technology from Mitsubishi Motors, or their subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric, the department responsible for designing said autonomous technology in the first place. Based around several concepts – city infrastructure, GPS, cameras, and artificial intelligence – the Mobile Mapping System (MMS), as coined by Mitsubishi, is starting to go beyond just automobiles. Apparently, its implementation is much more simple than previously thought.
Mitsubishi Goes Autonomous
Mitsubishi Motors has yet to come out with their own self-driving vehicle as of yet, but their alliance with Renault-Nissan and the Alliance 2022 investment plan has a lot of focus on robotaxis and other transportation services. Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric have however debuted concepts at various auto shows when it comes to self-driving vehicles with artificial intelligence (A.I.).
Wow, it’s crazy when you find yourself riding the same wavelength as someone else, be it in the world or in your household. Just last week, we were discussing the possibilities of the new Mitsubishi Lancer Crossover if it were to regain the Evolution or “EVO” nameplate. We even showed a video of Clark Johnson from TopGear racing the Lancer EVO against a Lamborghini! The Lancer was such a beast, it caused the driver to spin out while attempting to shake it off. We also found out not too long ago that Mitsubishi Motors and digital artists are churning out concepts for future vehicles, like the new Mitsubishi Mirage built off the Nissan Juke and now the new Lancer Crossover concept art.
This beautiful piece comes from from Automotive Designer and Digital Artist, Tigran Lalayan. Notice anything similar? Right off the bat, it’s clear that Lalayan took some styling cues from the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept shown off at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The color is different for a more aggressive tone, and with high performance in mind, the color definitely speaks volumes. Drawn up with the same rugged stance but given its own funky flavor, the Lancer crossover concept from Lalayan isn’t half bad.
When Mitsubishi Motors said they were reinventing the EVO nameplate for an all-electric SUV, many fans of the old Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution weren’t very happy. After all, the Lancer EVO was a rally car, and the last Mitsubishi Lancer EVO was sold on eBay, September 2017. A little later, Mitsubishi Motors debuted the Mitsubishi e-Evolution at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017. They called it a “high-performance” SUV, and had plans to also make it semi-autonomous with all new futuristic designs inside and out. Then, in early 2018, Mitsubishi announced the revival of the Mitsubishi Lancer as a crossover. Signs are pointing to this new Lancer becoming the e-Evolution concept to resurrect the nameplate. Again, fans aren’t happy, but let’s take a look at what the Lancer EVO was once capable of, and how its abilities can translate into a crossover today.
Here’s a video of Jeremy Clarkson from BBC’s TopGear showing off the Lancer EVO eighth-generation, and ultimately racing a Lamborghini Murciélago. The results were surprising.