Mitsubishi Motors Debuts e-Evolution Concept in America
Mitsubishi Motors had plans for a press conference prior to the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and they were not bluffing. For the first time, Mitsubishi has decided to unveil the e-Evolution concept in North America. This electric, supposedly autonomous and artificially intelligent vehicle showed up at the Geneva Motor Show and Tokyo Motor Show previously. Built to support the strength and needs of an SUV while powered by an electric motor and full of new systems to expand the integration of smartphone tech and connected mobility amongst consumers, there’s a lot of promises riding on this concept.
The e-Evolution is far more than just an auto show concept vehicle. It is the embodiment of what Mitsubishi Motors will become, what we will stand for, and the type of vehicles we will bring to our customers in the very near future…The e-Evolution Concept has the performance DNA that Mitsubishi is known for, evolved for today’s savvy consumer in the form of an electrified CUV.” – Fred Diaz, president and CEO, MMNA.
Is that so?
Whenever an electric vehicle (EV) talks about power, there’s a mixed bag of feelings. EVs are known for their instant torque at launch, driving plenty of power to the wheels once pressure is applied to the accelerator pedal. In recent years, electric vehicles weren’t known to drive very far, but these days that’s slowly becoming a myth. Still, it might be tough for new consumers to get inside an electric car.
Driving the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept are two high-torque, high-performance electric motors, powered by a high-capacity battery system for smooth performance and handling. Located under the floor in the middle of the vehicle, the battery creates a low center of gravity, allowing the driver to take tight turns and go fast without losing control or risking flipping over. Mitsubishi did claim this concept was meant to be a performance SUV.
Mitsubishi will be equipping the concept with their unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system, quickly becoming popular on all of their vehicles. This system is made of a triple motor 4WD system that employs a single motor to drive the front wheels, complemented by a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring AYC unit. It’s a lot of fancy words to say the driving and handling of the e-Evolution should be superb.
Mitsubishi Motors is changing up the looks of its vehicles, first with the Eclipse Cross, and now with the e-Evolution, taking on a whole new front fascia design of the “Dynamic Shield”. Although electric, the vehicle still sports a grille to appeal to consumers, but sits behind a glass pane. That glass is there to protect cameras, sensors, and a large air intake situated beneath the headlamps to cool down the electric brakes. For improved aerodynamics, this air intake also channels the air through a path all the way to either rear exhaust for undisturbed movement.
Designed with high ground clearance, off-road capability could appear if the large tires are any hint. Although nimble and agile, the e-Evolution concept is supposed to look aggressive, and the bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof accentuate that style. It’s large hexagon shape at the rear, paying homage to the legendary Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero in international markets), a hallmark of off-road driving, only further the off-road capability possibility.
The interior, well, that’s an interesting story. Like some futuristic wonderland, the dashboard and console seem to be suspended in the air. Across the entire width of the dashboard is a large flat screen that displays outside conditions, navigation, and coaching information. Two smaller screens, one on either side, act as front and rear cameras, and full-frame windows provide a nearly unobstructed 360-degree view.
No, we didn’t gloss over that part about cameras and sensors behind the glass, or the coaching displayed on the screen. Mitsubishi Motors is working on creating artificially intelligent virtual advisors that can help improve a driver’s current driving behavior with tips and advice, or even take over if the driver is unable (sleepy, intoxicated, bad in the rain). The A.I. is designed to not improve the driver, but also the drive.
An array of sensors allows the A.I. to read changes in the road, traffic conditions, and even the driver. Able to receive data from the driver, the e-Evolution A.I. can construct a training program based on the driver’s skill level that is run through voice dialogue and on-screen commands. In essence, it’s exactly what it says. The vehicle coaches the driver, bringing the driving experience to a new level. Of course, if Mitsubishi Motors makes good on the promise of autonomous vehicles, maybe drivers won’t have to put up with a computer telling it how to drive.
There’s a lot on the way for Mitsubishi Motors. With the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the Alliance 2022 plan making investments, there’s more than the e-Evolution concept to look forward to. Still, a car with A.I.? Sounds pretty neat. Let us know your thoughts on University Mitsubishi social media.