This is the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV, the Japanese car company’s star attraction at this month’s 2009 Tokyo motor show.
And the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV is what exactly?
The concept tag is obvious, but the PX part designates the show car as a plug-in hybrid crossover, and MiEV stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle.
Externally the PX-MiEV drops heavy hints towards the styling of the next Outlander, but Mitsubishi has pared back the design and purposely avoided adding the 'rugged'’ elements so common to SUVs. The front and rear lights are LEDs, as is the entire interior instrument panel.
Under the bonnet is a full plug-in hybrid system. There are two motors – one front, one rear – and the front motor supplies drive at low speeds to the front wheels. At higher speeds a 114bhp/92lb ft 1.6-litre petrol engine takes over, and during high-speed lane changes the rear motor cuts in to supply four-wheel drive. Both motors and the engine can also operate simultaneously to help acceleration, while electronically controlled four-wheel drive (E-4WD) and Active Yaw Control (E-AYC) deliver torque where appropriate. Complicated, but Mitsubishi claims the PX-MiEV can manage over 140mpg.
And if the Pope wants a new zero-emissions vehicle he might like the i-MiEV CARGO. Derived from the production i-MiEV, the concept offers more interior space, which Mitsubishi says ‘allows the user to exercise their imagination fully in adapting it for whatever use he/she chooses’, but think of it more as a PR stunt to highlight full production of the regular car which starts in April 2010.
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