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Plug-In Hybrid SUV Concept from Mitsubishi to Debut at Tokyo Show

We’ll keep in mind that Mitsubishi has a habit of debuting concepts that never go to production, and hope that this time is different Automotive columnist: , Updated:

This year’s Tokyo Auto Show taking in place in October is shaping up to be rich in interesting debuts, particularly in terms of electric-powered products. One of the new vehicles confirmed for the show is a new plug-in hybrid SUV concept that will be found at the show’s Mitsubishi stand.

For the moment, no name has been given to the prototype and hardly any details provided. The company says only that “the small electric SUV concept car pulls together the company's electrification and all-wheel drive control expertise and technologies.”

One thing we know for sure is that the plug-in hybrid technology it features will be more compact and more lightweight than before. All-wheel-drive capability will be assured by an electrical system.

And that’s it as far as info goes. Mitsubishi’s announcement was more of a parable than a sharing of hard data.

Photo: D.Boshouwers

Still though, this product is potentially quite interesting. While Mitsubishi is not one of the industry’s big players, it was the first to introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV. Given the success of the Outlander PHEV, it’s not surprising to see the company follow that up with more products that will help make the technology profitable for it. Creating a new vehicle by adapting the technology makes perfect sense.

We’ll have to wait for the third week of October to see what the automaker has in mind for us; the Tokyo show opens its doors on October 24. The two days prior to that will be devoted to the traditional media presentations, and we’ll be on hand for those.

One thing we hope to hear from Mitsubishi is that it plans to develop a production version of the new SUV prototype in the short term – and of course introduce it in North America. It’s no secret the company has been planning to add a new model to its lineup, and it’s also clear it needs all the help it can get to boost sales globally. We’ll keep in mind however that Mitsubishi has a habit of debuting concepts that never go to production, and hope that this time is different.