Mitsubishi Concept SUVs Coming to Tokyo Motor Show
Montero? Is That You?
At its press conference on Day 1 of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will reveal three concept cars said to “point to the direction MMC’s development and manufacturing will take in the near future.” By the looks of things, MMC’s horizon has some pretty aggressive looking hybrid SUVs.
Mitsubishi’s Concept GC-PHEV (at center) is a full-size, full time 4x4 SUV augmented by Mitsubishi’s latest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system. GC stands for Grand Cruiser and is supposed to “bring the vision of an imposing yet eco-friendly vehicle speeding across a vast terrain.” Delivering this eco-speed is a front-mounted 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission and driving the rear wheels. The PHEV’s high output electric motor and battery ostensibly provide the 4x4 capability to “deliver all-terrain performance truly worthy of all-round SUV.”
To right of the Grand Cruiser, is Concept XR-PHEV. XR means Crossover Runner, a name Mitsubishi claims “combines the concept’s stylish crossover lines with peppy and nimble performance around town.” This compact SUV concept is said to utilize a front-engine, front-wheel drive layout and PHEV system, built around Mitsubishi’s latest 1.1-liter turbocharged, direct-injection gas engine.
Like Concept XR, Concept AR, for Active Runabout, utilizes a front-engine, front-drive layout and a 1.1-liter turbo, DI engine. Instead of a PHEV system, the more compact AR uses a, lightweight, mild-hybrid system.
While all three are concepts without any confirmed production intent, Concepts GC and XR have potential North American implications. Rumor has it MMC is studying the possibility of bringing the next generation Montero (Pajero in other markets) back to the US, and Concept GC is a look at what it could be, in its most fuel efficient form. Similarly the sporty and aggressive Concept XR, could be our next generation Outlander Sport.
Wherever these three end up, their primary purpose is to tell the world that Mitsubishi is alive and kicking. MMC says these concept cars utilize a theme it calls @earth TECHNOLOGY – which is a fancy catch-all term for the company’s broad range of technologies. Categorized in three broad categories: Toughness and Safety, Driving Pleasure, and Environmental Responsibility, @earth TECHNOLOGY basically includes every system MMC currently uses in vehicle manufacturing, from the aforementioned PHEV and mild hybrid systems, to Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) and Active Yaw Control (AYC), and safety systems such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Monitoring (FCM), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
MMC will display these three concepts along with ten other vehicles during the press days of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show starting November 20, 2013. We’ll be there, so stay tuned.