Japan’s first production car, the Mitsubishi Model A, will be reborn as an EV

Believe it or not, the first production car in Japan came from Mitsubishi with the Model A in 1917. It’s based on the Fiat Tipo 3 and production was limited to a whopping… 22 units, after which Mitsubishi decided to go back to manufacturing trucks.

Exactly 100 years later, Mitsubishi decided to celebrate the occasion by reviving the dead, and does so rather fittingly – via electrocution. I mean electrification. Flying cars are all but a reality today, so the least Mitsubishi could do is to make it an all-electric car, which is something they are actually pretty good at.

The new Mitsubishi Model A inherits the powertrain from the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). It will be built by West Coast Customs (yes, the team behind Pimp My Ride and Inside West Coast Customs TV series).

The standard Outlander PHEV is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder MIVEC petrol engine that’s paired with two electric motors, putting together a combined output of 200 hp and over 500 Nm of torque. The battery capacity (12 kWh) is enough to yield a full electric range of 52 km! In comparison, the original Model A was powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder engine belting a massive 35 horsepower.

The whole project is set for completion later this summer, with progress being aired on the future episode of Inside West Coast Customs.


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