At one point left for dead, at least in the U.S. market, Mitsubishi is showing signs of life again with its cheeky U.S. ad campaign for the new Outlander Sport, and showing a surprisingly sophisticated, stylish next-generation Outlander at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show.
Following the debut of the Outlander PHEV concept at the 2012 Paris show, Mitsubishi is continuing its electrification campaign with the debut of the GR-HEV pickup concept. But unlike the Outlander PHEV and i-MIEV, the GR-HEV is not a plug-in. Rather, it employs a hybrid powertrain with a clean diesel engine to provide motive force, putting the power to the ground through a full-time four-wheel-drive system.
The GR-HEV appears to be a unibody crew-cab pickup concept, with a highly flared and stylized body. Although not confirmed, the GR-HEV could have a Chevrolet Avalanche-style folding mid-gate, allowing long cargo to be stowed in the cab area. High-tech touches include what appear to be LED taillights and outboard rearview cameras replacing conventional glass mirrors.
And although the pre-reveal release used the term "global" several times, we're not sure if North America is included in that definition, if indeed the GR-HEV previews a production model. If it does come to the U.S. market, it will be the first time in nearly 20 years Mitsubishi has had a pickup offering in the U.S., with the Mighty Max ending production in 1996.