2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: Stealthy Plug-in Due for a Power Boost

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Unlike the ad campaign you’ve no doubt seen for the new Eclipse Cross crossover, Mitsubishi’s long-awaited Outlander PHEV plug-in arrived on North American shores with little fanfare. Outlander PHEV sales quietly kicked off in January, years after its overseas debut.

Even though it’s just arrived, news from the Geneva Motor Show tells us there’s changes afoot for Mitsubishi’s sole green model. More grunt is on the way.

The big news is the model’s powertrain, which swaps its 2.0-liter inline-four engine for an Atkinson-cycle 2.4-liter. Without giving exact specifications, Mitsubishi promised extra torque from the upgraded mill (current output sits at 137 lb-ft), along with the secondary benefit of increased fuel economy.

Electric components also see an upgrade. The 12 kWh lithium-ion battery grows to 13.8 kWh, which the rear motor’s output (currently 80 horsepower and 144 lb-ft) grows by 10 percent. Output for the front motor remains the same, at 80 hp and 101 lb-ft. With a larger well of electrons to draw from and a beefed-up rear motor, acceleration in EV mode should see a mild improvement. Range might increase from the existing 22 miles, though Mitsubishi’s keeping that info under its hat.

Other changes include available trim add-ons, additional rear HVAC vents, and a revamped instrument panel. To give the model a shot of fun and help it better handle the white stuff, Mitsubishi has added Snow and Sport settings to the vehicle’s drive modes.

European sales start this fall, but the automaker didn’t mention dates for a North American debut.

Over the first two months of 2018, some 623 Outlander PHEVs found American homes. In contrast, the PHEV’s gas-only sibling posted its best U.S. sales month to date last month, with 5,290 deliveries. February sales amounted to a 44.3-percent year-over-year increase.

[Source: Autocar] [Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Mar 08, 2018

    The 2018s are a brand new model already, not even old enough for dealers to do any meaningful discounting yet, and Mitsu announces the improved-in-every-way 2019 already. So, pay full price for the old one or wait for the new one? Should be an easy choice but the trouble is, Mitsu took its sweet time getting the car to North America in the first place, and might dawdle on the upgrades too--or leave them out altogether. Apparently a Mitsu rep told one publication that Australia will get the cosmetic and comfort upgrades but not the powertrain upgrades, for example. That might be the case in other price-sensitive markets like the US too, where the purchase price is cushioned by smaller incentives than in the UK or Netherlands, for example. I wish they'd let us know. All they've said so far is that Europe and Japan get the upgrades this fall.

  • Scott25 Scott25 on Mar 08, 2018

    On the contrary, I’m constantly barraged by Outlander PHEV marketing lately and haven’t seen anything about the Eclipse Cross (saw one on the road this week, looks even more like an Aztek than originally thought possible). I imagine my browsing habits are different than most or all of the B&B though.

  • Aja8888 Folks, this car is big enough to live in. Dual deal: house and car for $7 large.
  • Astigmatism I don't think tax credits will put me in this league, but if I could swing it, I would 1000% go for a restomod EV Grand Wagoneer: https://www.thedrive.com/news/you-can-buy-an-electric-80s-jeep-grand-wagoneer-for-295000
  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
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