By on September 18, 2019

Image: Mitsubishi

Either those fan-type objects are meant to exhaust vape clouds from the cabin (pods?), or the upcoming concept vehicle from Mitsubishi will need clearance from the FAA to visit grandma’s house. Are they speakers? Will drivers of this wildly unlikely production candidate create impromptu block parties wherever they go?

Mitsubishi isn’t saying. All we know is that the concept, bound for next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, is a plug-in hybrid, not unlike the Outlander PHEV. Interestingly, Mitsubishi opted to spell out the PHEV acronym, making the vehicle seem more futuristic than it actually is.

“Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.” It’s a term that’s been around for years, but it still boggles when one reads the “electric vehicle” part. No wonder consumers are still confused about electrification and the abilities of various hybrid types.

That complaint aside, Mitsubishi’s creation, like past concepts, isn’t likely to ever see the glare of a showroom. At least not as pictured. Described as a small plug-in SUV with a downsized powertrain and electric 4WD system, the concept is an exercise to show off Mitsu’s plug-in and all-wheel prowess while the company awaits real-world products people can actually buy. Aside from the Eclipse Cross, it’s been lean times at Mitsubishi for years.

The automaker’s entry into the troubled Renault-Nissan Alliance, while opening the door to cash-saving platform and technology sharing, means a longer wait for those future rides. The upside is that when it does happen, buyers might be able to expect a broader range of products.

We’ll know more about Mitsubishi’s concept, and perhaps even some future plans, when the Tokyo show kicks off in late October.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

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