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Ever since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance held a digital conference to discuss the mid-term plans for Alliance 2022, all eyes have been on Mitsubishi Motors. The automaker was selected as the first automaker of the three to release a new vehicle, and with all of the new car technology coming from the Alliance, there have been many questions as to what that will be. Mitsubishi and Nissan recently released a micro electric vehicle in Japan, but that’s most likely not it. Shareholders have been asking for the return of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution series, but still no dice – electric vehicle technology is all the focus. The automaker has also been in talks about replacing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and now we may have a contender.
During the 2021 Geneva International Motor Show, Mitsubishi introduced two interesting concepts. The first was the Engelberg Tourer, a plug-in hybrid SUV said to be the sportier, much more modern version of the Outlander PHEV. This concept disappeared after 2019, possibly in favor of another vehicle or due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This PHEV was also introduced with the Dendo Drive House (DDH), a very interesting prospect for a modern and green home powered by solar panels and a home battery.
Later that year, at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show (only happens every other year, so look out for it this year, 2021), Mitsubishi Motors also introduced a new PHEV system called Mi-Tech, powered by a gas turbine engine-generator and four electric motors. It was definitely a new take on the PHEV platform, usually designed with one or at most two electric motors, one for each axle. The Mi-Tech has an electric motor for each wheel. That, plus the automaker’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, this plug-in hybrid SUV would have been very capable.
No sign of that either. There is some interesting news about Renault building two new models for Mitsubishi Motors to help with its European lineup. Earlier, this was to be believed a rebadge of the Renault “Clio” and “Stelvio”, but latest reports claim they will be two brand new models, built by Renault, but repurposed for Mitsubishi Motors. Going back and forth between leaving the market and only selling to certain regions, it’s hard to tell what the automaker plans to release next and where. Aside from the vehicle being a plug-in or an electric vehicle, and being somewhere between the C-car segment and D-car segment, there isn’t much to go on about this upcoming model.
Instead of releasing a new model altogether, speculation now points to pushing the new model back, possibly due to the current global semiconductor chip shortage rocking just about every industry dealing with electronics. Instead, Mitsubishi Motors states that the new flagship model for its green and eco-friendly future is a plug-in hybrid of their sporty crossover, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. This one definitely feels like it’s coming out of nowhere, but with the surprising popularity of the Eclipse Cross after the initial sting that the Eclipse Sports Car wasn’t returning, it may be the next best move for the automaker to make.
Interested in seeing what Mitsubishi Motors does with the Eclipse Cross PHEV? Follow along with us on NowCar social media.