Mitsubishi's Tokyo-bound PHEV concept doubles as a boom box
19 September 2019 - Autoblog
Mitsubishi will unveil a futuristic concept car at the biennial Tokyo Auto Show opening in October 2019 that doubles as a boom box. Billed as a small SUV, the model remains under wraps for the time being, but a dark teaser image provides insight into what we can expect.
Power for the yet-unnamed concept comes from a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain. At this point, we'd be surprised if Mitsubishi dared to unveil a concept that wasn't electrified to some degree. While full powertrain specifications are being kept secret, we know the design study features all-wheel drive, and it's capable of driving on electricity alone for relatively short distances – all of which sounds perfectly feasible for a company that sells the Outlander PHEV already.
Plug-in hybrid cars are often considerably heavier than comparable non-hybrid models because they gain a bulky battery pack, at least one electric motor, and yards of extra wiring. Mitsubishi promises its Tokyo-bound concept benefits from a downsized powertrain that's lighter than normal.
Evidently taken in a room with closed curtains, the teaser image shows a sloping greenhouse accented by what looks like a pair of speakers integrated into each roof pillar. Carbon fiber seemingly keeps weight in check, and part of the gasoline-electric powertrain is visible under a clear glass panel, which is a styling cue we'd normally expect to find on a supercar, not on a Mitsubishi SUV.
All told, the Tokyo-bound concept looks like a forward-thinking display of the direction the Japanese firm's vehicle development teams will take in the coming years, not an accurate preview of an upcoming, production-bound model outdoors enthusiasts will be able to go off-roading in. We'll know for sure when the Tokyo show opens its doors on October 24.