THERE’S no doubt the Outlander PHEV has proved a huge success for Mitsubishi.
In fact it was Europe’s best selling plug-in hybrid vehicle three years in a row from 2015 – 2017 and in January it passed the 100,000 sales mark.
It also remains the best-selling plug-in vehicle – hybrid or electric – in the UK.
And while direct rivals have been few and far between, Mitsubishi isn’t resting on its laurels with a new 2019 model due to go on sale in the autumn.
While the Outlander’s redesign of two years ago focused on an upmarket look and feel, the latest changes are predominantly technical – targeting efficiency, performance and the driving experience.
Replacing the existing 2.0-litre engine is a new 2.4-litre unit developing 133bhp, compared to its predecessor’s 119bhp, and with significantly more torque too.
The PHEV’s electric powertrain has also received attention, its output boosted from 81bhp to 94bhp and its top speed in Electric Vehicle mode is up from approximately 78mph to 84mph.
The 0-62mph acceleration benchmark is dispatched in 10.5 seconds, some 0.5 seconds faster than before, while its overtaking acceleration is also improved by a similar margin.
At the same time, the Mitsubishi’s pure EV range is extended to 28 miles according to the new, more stringent Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) tests.
The vehicle’s WLTP average fuel economy figure is 141mpg and CO2 emissions down at 46g/km.
To improve the driving experience, the front and rear shock absorbers have been revised to improve its low-speed ride and a new Sport Mode brings sharper throttle response and more grip via the Super All-Wheel Control system.
There are also larger front brake discs plus a new SNOW mode to improve grip on slippery surfaces, while the traction control system has been revised to improve hill-climbing.
As for exterior style, the Outlander PHEV gets a new front end with a redesigned grille, new bumper extension, fog lamp bezels and “technical look” LED headlamps.
The rear has a redesigned bumper extension and a large roof spoiler plus new, two-tone contrasted 18-inch multi-spoke alloys.
The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV goes on sale in the UK in September with pricing and UK specifications announced closer to its launch.