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Engine update for Europe's best-selling plug-in SUV

Engine update for Europe's best-selling plug-in SUV

The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the most technically advanced SUV ever produced by the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC).

First launched in the UK in 2014, the Outlander PHEV made an immediate impact in the UK – the previous year fewer than 1,000 plug-in hybrids were sold in the UK but by the end of 2014 Mitsubishi had sold more than 10,000 Outlander PHEVs, driven by the public’s desire to drive greener vehicles combined with the increasing appetite for SUV and 4X4 vehicles.

By November 2015 the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had amassed 50,000 sales across Europe and by January 2018 it passed the 100,000 milestone.

Despite a growing number of competitors it remained Europe’s best selling plug-in hybrid vehicle three years in a row from 2015 -2017 and it also remains the best-selling plug-in vehicle – hybrid or electric – in the UK.

The new Outlander PHEV benefits from a new front end with a redesigned grille, new bumper extension, new fog lamp bezels and all-new ‘technical look’ LED headlamps.

The rear is enhanced with a redesigned rear bumper extension and a large roof spoiler while new, 18-inch multi-spoke alloys complete the exterior revisions.

The powertrain received the most extensive engineering focus of the 2019 model, with the development of a new “4B12” 2.4-litre petrol engine, which uses its MIVEC variable-valve timing system to seamlessly switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles depending on the driving situation.

The larger capacity means the engine produces more power (135ps vs 121ps) and more torque across a wider rev range (211Nm vs 190Nm) when operating in the familiar Otto cycle mode, which is ideal for moderate-to-high load situations such as inclines and rapid acceleration.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s electric powertrain has also received some engineering attention. Improvements include a 10 per cent increase in the generator output and an increase in the rear electric motor output from 82hp to 95hp.

The drive battery has also had its output increased by 10 per cent and its overall capacity increased by 15 per cent to 13.8kWh thanks to new battery cells.

From the driver’s perspective, one of the biggest changes is the increase to Outlander PHEV’s top speed in Electric Vehicle mode, up from approx-imately 78mph (125km/h) to 84mph (135km/h) where legally permitted.

Overall, the 0-62mph acceleration benchmark is dispatched in 10.5 seconds, some 0.5 seconds faster than before.

The Outlander PHEV’s pure EV range is more than enough for the average daily UK commute at 28 miles.

The WLTP average fuel economy figure for the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is 139mpg (159.5mph NEDC) and its WLTP CO2 emissions are just 46g/km (40.3g/km NEDC).

OTR prices start at £34,255.

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