By on January 27, 2020

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front quarter

The only hybrid vehicle in Mitsubishi’s meager lineup, the Outlander PHEV, will don a larger gasoline engine when it arrives for the 2021 model year. In a nod to the Gretas of the world, Mitsu will offset the boosted displacement with additional gas-free range.

Documents filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal details of the upcoming midsize crossover, which should be the first Mitsubishi-branded vehicle to borrow serious kit from its alliance partners.

AutoGuide noticed the VIN docs filed to NHTSA, which show the replacement of the existing model’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 2.4-liter unit. Gas-only horsepower rises from 117 hp to 126 in this configuration, while the battery pack grows accordingly.

Appearing on North American shores years after landing in Europe, where it became the region’s best-selling plug-in hybrid, the Outlander PHEV currently utilizes two 60 kW electric motors enlivening both axles. A 12 kWh battery pack provides the necessary juice.

For 2021, the model — which is believed to borrow the platform bound for the next-generation Nissan Rogue — dons a more potent 70 kW rear motor, good for 93 hp (up from 80 hp). A steady flow of electrons drain from an enlarged 13.8 kW battery pack, which should endow the Outlander PHEV with a range exceeding the current model’s 22 miles. Perhaps not by much, but every mile counts in this game.

Besides the powertrain bits, the re-platformed Outlander and its PHEV sibling are expected to grow slightly, adopting a visage reminiscent of Mitsu’s oddly-named Engelberg Tourer concept. Like the Eclipse Cross, the model’s appearance will surely divide the populace into two camps.

Nevertheless, a revamp for Mitsu’s largest offering is overdue. The current-generation Outlander first appeared in 2012, going on sale in North America for the 2014 model year, while the PHEV version’s long-delayed journey to the States is a saga well covered on these digital pages. Outlander PHEV sales fell 33 percent in the U.S. last year, despite the basic Outlander topping the previous year’s tally by just over 300 units.

[Images: Mitsubishi Motors]

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5 Comments on “Bring the Power: Next-Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Adds Displacement...”

  • avatar

    Yeah it’s a “revamp”, but 126 HP from 2.4 litres? That right there is a swing-and-a-miss. I’ll wait until it hits the ramp at the stand-alone Mitsu dealer not too far from me.

    Actually I won’t. I did visit a few years back. Shabby and Spartan, it felt more like buy-here-pay-here than a new car store. That and the vehicles therein ended whatever ephemeral interest I had in them.

  • avatar

    This is the cheapest plug-in SUV out there, which ought to be good for gangbuster sales in places (like here) that like electric cars. Unfortunately, it also feels like the cheapest SUV out there, and it’s sold by only a few terrible dealers, so I don’t see many of them on the street.

    On the local streets there are far more Ford and even Volvo plug-ins than these.

  • avatar

    So,an extra 10HP and 10% increase in electric miles range? (like 3 more miles)?? From a PHEV that has BEEN for sale in the last 6 years??? (Yes, just started being sold in the USA, but in Europe is already a 6 year-old model(!) The PHEV Outlander was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, sales started in 2014 – Even on the few products that could help Mitsu, they are so freakin’ far behind. Dunno if Nissan will help if Mitsu cannot help themselves.

  • avatar

    I went into the local dealer last year with the biggest hope it’ll be a somewhat decent SUV to drive. Nope, drove terrible and the switchgear was something straight from the 90s. I was so disappointed.

    And that dealer….it’s now closed.

  • avatar

    I like this car more than any reasonable person should, but this update is overdue; they should be on to the next one already. California recently terminated rebates for any PHEV with under 35 miles of EV range, and that is certainly a reasonable minimum at a time when battery cost and energy density are far better than they were in, say, 2012.

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