Mitsubishi has released an updated version of their Outlander PHEV for 2020. And while the updates aren’t extensive, they are significant.
“Since its introduction, the Outlander PHEV has retained its DNA as the first PHEV to market, but it has improved a number of safety and technical features, as well as a number of efficiency and performance measures, all in response to customer feedback,” said MMA Senior Manager of Product Strategy, Owen Thomson.
“It enhances the overall driving experience and improves their fuel expenditure, without them having to worry about driving range.”
Leading the changes are a larger petrol engine and a more powerful electric motor on the rear axle. Previously, the Outlander PHEV used a MIVEC 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. For the 2020 model, that engine has been upgraded to 2.4 litres – the same engine used in the conventional Outlander. The extra 400cc means a shift from 87kW and 186Nm to 94kW and 199Nm.
Allied with this, the rear axle’s electric motor is now a 70kW unit (previously 60kW), while the front axle’s electric motor is unchanged at 60kW. Maximum torque from the electric motors is also unchanged at 195Nm rear and 137Nm front.
Generator output is up from 70kW to 80kW, with capacity from the lithium ion battery pack increased, too, from 12kWh to 13.8kWh.
The result of all these changes, says Mitsubishi, is an electric-only driving range of 54km (using the NEDC cycle) and claimed combined cycle economy of just 1.9lt/100km.
Full charging of the battery pack can be achieved in 7 hours through a conventional household outlet, while a DC fast charger can re-juice the battery to 80 per cent capacity in 25 minutes.
Pick your Power
As with the outgoing Outlander PHEV, the 2020 version offers three operational modes: EV Priority; Series Hybrid; and Parallel Hybrid.
EV Priority mode runs the vehicle purely on electricity, driving the front and rear wheels from the electric motors on each axle and using battery power alone.
In Series Hybrid mode, the electric motors still drive the wheels, but the petrol engine runs the generator to charge the battery while driving. When encountering certain situations, like driving uphill, sudden acceleration or when battery charge is low, Series Hybrid overrides EV Priority automatically.
In Parallel Hybrid mode, the petrol engine drives the front wheels and the electric motor the rears. This mode is engaged at high speed, (highways for example), with the front electric motor “assisting” the petrol engine, which still drives the generator to recharge the battery in this mode.
Depending on the driving you’re doing, you can also select a Battery Save mode to only use the battery power as required.
EV Priority is the standard mode and the on-board systems will default to that whenever possible, but even when manually selecting this mode, the petrol engine will kick in automatically when battery levels are low or extreme power demands are made, eg., sudden heavy acceleration.
Regardless of driving mode, kinetic energy generated through braking is also fed back into the battery.
In addition to the drive modes, there are two operational modes - ‘Snow’ and ‘Sport’. Both work with the Outlander PHEV’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) all-wheel drive system to alter torque delivery.
Of limited value in Australia, Snow mode essentially increases the level of intervention of the Active Stability Control, Active Traction Control, ABS and EBD. Conversely, Sport reduces the level of intervention.
Paddle shifters on the Outlander PHEV may seem like a curiosity, as the SUV’s electric motors mean it essentially has a single-speed transmission, but they serve to adjust the level of energy recovered through the regenerative braking system. With the gear selector moved from ‘D’ to ‘B’, the paddle shifters allow the driver to set the level of regenerative braking, with six different settings available.
Of the three grades of Outlander PHEV – ES, ES with ADAS pack and Exceed - for 2020, the ES and EXCEED each get a few new features.
Starting with the ES, the MY20 version adds the aforementioned Sport and Snow drive modes, as well as black cloth trim for the front and rear seats. Like past Outlander PHEVs, the MY20 version is 5-seat only, but now features heated front seats, with power lumbar support for the driver’s seat.
There’s also an electrochromatic rear view mirror and centre console upgrade to an 8-inch screen, with two USB ports for rear seat passengers and piano black detailing for the dash and door trims.
Finally, Forward Collision Mitigation is added to the ES’s safety suite, but additional safety tech, like Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert remain exclusive to the upper grades.
Of those upper grades, the ES ADAS pack gets all the same MY20 updates as the standard ES but nothing exclusive, while the Exceed now adds speed limit information to the digital instrument display via this grade’s standard TomTom navigation system.
The Exceed also upgrades the audio to an 8-speaker Mitsubishi Power Sound System and adds the ‘EVPS’ function that allows the vehicle to serve as an auxiliary power supply, either providing power to the house (handy in power outages and emergencies), or feeding it back into the grid.
Outlander PHEV pricing
With the engine update and smattering of new features to both main model grades, Outlander PHEV has risen slightly for 2020, with the model still a substantial premium over the conventional Outlander. See your Mitsubishi dealer for further details.
MY20 Outlander PHEV ES $46,990*
(+$1,000 for ADAS)
MY20 Outlander PHEV Exceed $50,990*
*pricing is manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing only and does not include on-road costs
Turia Pitt joins Mitsubishi as brand ambassador
In December, Mitsubishi Motors Australia announced they’d signed Turia Pitt as a new ambassador for the brand.
Pitt, the mining engineer and athlete who was severely burned when caught in a bushfire during the Kimberley Ultramarathon in 2011, is a “natural fit” for the brand, according to Mitsubishi.
“Mitsubishi is proud to partner with one of Australia’s most inspirational and resilient women,” said Karen Bradley, Senior Marketing Manager for Mitsubishi Motors. “Turia shares our passion for outdoor adventure.”
Pitt, who married her partner and gave birth to a son in 2017, is currently driving an MY20 Outlander Exceed. The role will see the 32-year-old driving several Mitsubishi models throughout 2020.
“My personal experience is a testament to the fact that a big ambition and a positive mindset is the key to living an incredible life, so when the team at Mitsubishi invited me to be their new ambassador, I said ‘yes please’,” Pitt stated.
“Through this partnership I’m looking forward to learning more about how Mitsubishi can keep my growing family on-the-move, visiting more new places across the country in cars that are built to suit the terrain. I’m also excited to see what we can do together—to inspire more people to have the confidence and self-belief to achieve the things in life that matter to them.”