Mitsubishi Motors’ 2019 Outlander PHEV, featuring a redesigned powertrain, is now in Japan. The 2019 model, unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva show (earlier post), features a more advanced PHEV system that gives this SUV a stronger EV flavor.
Mitsubishi made improvements to 90% of the major components of the PHEV system. The 2019 PHEV features a newly developed drive battery and engine as well as increased rear motor and generator outputs. These improvements give further improvements in the smooth and powerful acceleration inherent to its electric motor drive, and in its quietness. In addition, the model adds new SNOW and SPORT modes to its Twin Motor 4WD powertrain.
Drive battery capacity has been increased from 12 kW/h to 13.8 kW/h. Rear motor and generator outputs have been increased by around 12% and 10 % respectively. These improvements extend Outlander PHEV’s all-electric cruising range to 65.0 km (40.4 miles), up from 60.2 to 60.8 km in the JC08 cycle.
A 2.4-liter Atkinson engine replaces the old 2.0-liter unit; changes in cam profile and valve timing control allows high-efficiency power generation in the lower rev range. Also, the reduction in engine speed when in generating mode and optimization of generation output and, improvements to the air cleaner and main muffler, reduces noise from the engine itself. The result is further enhancement in the feel-good driving experience that the electric drive delivers even when the engine starts and while running.
To cater more precisely to different road surfaces and vehicle operating status, SNOW and SPORT modes join the NORMAL and LOCK 4WD powertrain modes on the previous model.
SNOW mode: Gives better stability and control over snow-covered and other slippery surfaces. LOCK mode has been tailored to cater more for poor road surfaces, giving higher levels of traction and more driver reassurance.
SPORT mode: Gives the driver more direct control with improved throttle response and turning characteristics for greater enjoyment when sport driving on dry tarmac surfaces.
Body rigidity has been increased with the use of structural adhesive and by increasing the panel joint overlap area in the front and rear doors, as well as the luggage compartment opening and the wheel house/body panel joins (areas using structural adhesive increased on S Edition).
The use of larger front and rear dampers and a new type of damper valve gives improved ride quality as well as higher levels of handling and stability matching with smooth driving feel that the electric drive delivers (S Edition excluded).
The use of a faster steering-gear ratio and optimization of the electric power steering control to match this gives better steering feel and quality and a more natural steering response.