2016 Paris Motor Show: Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept revealed

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi previews a larger, bolder hybrid SUV concept at Paris, potentially pointing toward the car that will eventually replace the Outlander.

Mitsubishi has rolled out its latest futuristic hybrid SUV concept, with the petrol-electric, suicide-doored GT-PHEV making its first public appearance at the Paris Motor Show today.

The latest in a long sequence of concept offroaders by the Japanese brand, the Mitsubishi GT-PHEV sports the same ‘Dynamic Shield’ X-shaped motif across its nose as the previous eX, GC-PHEV, and XR-PHEV concepts, with narrow headlamps set deep into the quarter panels and a large, imposing grille.

Mitsubishi -GT-PHEV-rear -sideSmaller than the Pajero-sized GC-PHEV concept car but bigger than the XR-PHEV, the GT-PHEV is similar in size to the current-generation Outlander, and is widely tipped to preview the successor to Mitsubishi’s mass-market midsize SUV.

As its name hints, the GT-PHEV is a plug-in hybrid, with a 25kWh battery pack mounted under the floor and supplying three electric drive motors – a 90kW one driving the front axle and two 45kW motors at the rear.

A conventional 2.5-litre petrol engine provides power when the battery is depleted, but Mitsubishi claims the GT-PHEV can travel up to 120km before the combustion engine needs to kick in – nearly 70km more than the existing Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s electric-only range of 52km.

Mitsubishi -GT-PHEV-doors -openWith a full tank of fuel and a charged-up battery, Mitsubishi calculates a total cruising range beyond 1200km for the GT-PHEV.

Other fuel-saving tech includes active grille shutters that close off the drag-inducting radiator ducting when the engine isn’t needed, plus a speed-sensitive suspension that drops the car to further reduce aerodynamic drag, while also drawing on GPS and online data to tailor its damping to the quality of the road.

The concept’s cabin holds clues about Mitsubishi’s vision for its future interiors, with cameras replacing conventional glass wing mirrors and the rear view being projected onto monitors either side of the instrument panel.

A colour head-up display also projects key data into the driver’s line of sight.

Mitsubishi -GT-PHEV-interiorMeanwhile a split-level centre console puts the gear selector, AWD dials and infotainment touchpad up high, with a storage shelf occupying the space between the front footwells.Trimmed in leather, the GT-PHEV’s cabin furnishings also takes on a slightly premium look, a nod to Mitsubishi’s ambitions to lift its brand image above that of a mere mainstream manufacturer.

However, Don’t expect the GT-PHEV to spawn a production car just yet. Mitsubishi’s third-generation Outlander still has at least two years left to run – potentially three. Whatever the case, you can expect features like the GT-PHEV’s B-pillarless design and rear suicide doors to not make the transition to production.

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