Mitsubishi has just given their best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a massive upgrade for the new model year, featuring a more potent powertrain, improved driving dynamics as well as improved refinement.
Let’s start with the oily bits, the 2.0-litre petrol engine is now replaced by a larger 4B12 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to give 135 hp and 211 Nm of torque, 14 hp and 21 Nm more than before. The new engine is more ideal for heavy load situations like inclines and rapid acceleration and more efficient than before.
The electric motors (one on each axle) have been bumped up to generate 95 hp, while the battery pack now has 13.8 kWh capacity thanks to new battery cells. For the driver, this means the Outlander PHEV can travel at higher speeds in fully-electric mode at 135 km/h, 10km/h more than before.
In combination with the new engine and more powerful electric motors, the Outlander PHEV will now sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.5 seconds, 0.5 seconds faster than before but Mitsubishi claims that drivers will appreciate the improved performance during overtaking manoeuvres.
To complement the increased output, the Outlander PHEV has undergone some mechanical changes. The front and rear shock absorbers have been revised for better low-speed ride comfort and high-speed stability while the steering ratio has also been revised and the power steering ECU re-mapped for better response and feel. Larger front brake discs were also introduced for better stopping power.
Elsewhere, the Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system and traction control have been recalibrated for improved hill-climbing performance, low-grip launches and cornering abilities on slippery surfaces. A new Sport mode for sharper throttle response is also thrown into the mix.
Notable changes for the Outlander PHEV include restyled LED headlamps, revised front and rear bumpers, comfort seats, rear air vents (finally!), more convenient USB ports and new interior accent trim.
In Malaysia, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia locally assembles the Outlander 2.0L and 2.4L but the company has no plans to introduce this PHEV variant. Who knows, with the hybrid tax incentives being thrown around, this Outlander PHEV may become a reality.