Mitsubishi Debuts Electric Buggy at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show
Mitsubishi Motors surely had some surprises in 2019, and at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show (October 24 – November 4), the automaker had a lot more in store. Possibly a first from Mitsubishi Motors, introducing the MI-TECH Concept that looks like a buggy. You read that right, but thankfully it’s not actually a buggy, that’s just sort of how it looks, as seen above. Why would Mitsubishi choose to debut its plug-in hybrid electric SUV on a global scale with a buggy design? We’re going to get into that along with the new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain and electric 4WD system. We discussed the difference between the Mi-Tech powertrain and previous PHEV powertrains, like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, but it’s always nice to review.
Mitsubishi Reveals a Buggy
Mitsubishi Motors plans to expand its lineup with more variety and more alternative fuel options. While doing so, the automaker wants to also meet the needs of all kinds of consumers. It’s a step in the right direction, and because of this, we’re going to see a lot of different concepts coming out in the next few years. Mitsubishi made its first new debut with the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and another PHEV made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
“We are dedicated to electrification technology, particularly plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)…We will be expanding our lineup of electrified vehicles by delivering more variations and leveraging the diverse electrification technology in the alliance to make MMC the leader in the PHEV category going forward.” -Kato
Starting with the new MI-TECH CONCEPT, the plug-in hybrid electric SUV has a whole new take on how a PHEV should work. When Mitsubishi Motors released the Outlander PHEV, the SUV came with two electric motors, one on each axle. Changing the game once more, Mitsubishi put four electric motors on the MI-TECH CONCEPT, one for each wheel. Coupled with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator in place of the traditional gasoline engine, this is the shining achievement for Mitsubishi at the Motor Show this year. Able to apply their Super-All-Wheel-Control Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System with front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) units, this PHEV SUV is very stable and can provide comfort and control when driving over all kinds of terrain. Moreover, a gas turbine allows the MI-TEC CONCEPT to run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, kerosene, and alcohol while keeping a clean exhaust for the environment.
Why the Buggy design? According to the automaker, a buggy-type vehicle embodies the very essence of Mitsubishi. Wanting to stimulate the driver’s desire for adventure, the MI-TECH CONCEPT gets rid of a roof and the doors. Being an electric vehicle, the concept comes in a light blue body color with a secondary copper color in contrast on the grille, inner wheels, and interior. A new SUV needs a new design and Mitsubishi Motors’ signature Dynamic Shield is all-new. Featuring a satin plated color in the center of the grille, T-shaped headlights are embedded on both sides of the front-end to play on its outward appearance.
The MI-TECH CONCEPT still has the rugged looks of an SUV, with sharp lines that keep it large without making it look bulky. The lower bumper comes with aluminum skid plates on both sides to protect the body and the raised overfenders and large diameter tires project a high level of mobility for the driver while the rear-end is robust and comes with its own T-shaped tail lamps. With a clean dashboard similar to a buggy, the instrument panel is horizontal and mostly bare. On the center console, keyboard-shaped switches have been integrated and the front handgrip also functions as a hand pad to make the switches easy to operate. Projected on the windshield will be a heads-up display (HUD) of sorts that presents the driver with information about the car, terrain recognition, and optimal route guidance.
Check out the look of the windshield above. The HUD in MI-TECH CONCEPT is actually an augmented reality (AR) windshield, a feature quickly becoming popular in the auto industry. This AR windshield will also feature a Human Machine Interface (HMI) that can help the driver in various driving situations, equipped with MI-PILOT for driver support and safety on recognized freeways and ordinary roads, as well as unpaved roads.
What do you think of the SUV/Buggy by Mitsubishi Motors? It’s a mix of future tech while also having a laid back feel to it. Join the discussion on University Mitsubishi social media and share your thoughts.