Bring the Power: Next-Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Adds Displacement

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bring the power next generation mitsubishi outlander phev adds displacement

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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2 of 5 comments
  • Jh26036 Jh26036 on Jan 28, 2020

    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's now closed.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jan 29, 2020

    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.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.