Geneva 2013: Mitsubishi GR-HEV Diesel Hybrid Concept
Modern-Day Mighty Max Brings Innovation to Midsize Segment
If you were born during or before the Reagan administration, you might remember the Mitsubishi Mighty Max, a no-frills, basic small pickup that was a peer to offerings by Toyota, Nissan, and was even sold as a rebadged Dodge for a few years. Mitsubishi has been out of the pickup business in the U.S. since the mid-'90s, but has continued to sell pickups in overseas markets, the most recent model being the sleek L200/Triton pickup, which is built in Thailand and exported to 140 other markets worldwide. Taking a closer look at the specs of the GR-HEV Concept, it's clear Mitsubishi's latest diesel-hybrid concept shares at least some of its DNA with its emerging-market cousin.
Although the production Triton is pretty swoopy for a pickup, the GR-HEV cranks the swoopiness another notch with an LED-studded front clip and rear taillights, and an integrated bed and cab. Both the Triton and GR-HEV share a 118.1-inch wheelbase, although the GR-HEV is about a foot longer than the production Triton crew cab at 213.4 inches. Its width of 76 inches and height of 69.9 inches put it in the ballpark of the Tacoma and Frontier crew cab short-bed models.
But the real innovation in the GR-HEV comes in its powertrain, which combines a 2.5-liter I-4 turbodiesel with a hybrid drive system and Mitsubishi's four-mode Super-Select 4WD system. In addition to the traditional 2H, 4H and 4L modes, the GR-HEV's SS4 system also has a double-low 4LL mode, although gear ratio reductions were not specified in the press materials. Mitsubishi is claiming CO2 emissions of only 149 g/km, significantly less than the current T6 Ford Ranger or global Chevrolet Colorado with the smaller of the two diesel engines, which produce between 222-240 g/km.
The GR-HEV is also equipped with an on-board AC power system, eliminating the need for portable generators to run small appliances, tools or electronics. As far as we know, there are no current plans to bring either the Triton or GR-HEV to the U.S. market, although the GR-HEV could potentially preview a future hybrid version of the Triton for other markets.