What do Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan and Renault have in common, apart from the fact that these brands make up the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance? All three are precursors in terms of electric vehicles with the Nissan Leaf, the Renault Zoe and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which Peugeot and Citroën will rebadge in Ion and C-Zero.
And yet, these three manufacturers did not take advantage of their lead to quickly release other electric models. Indeed, nearly ten years passed before Renault offered its Megane E-Tech Electric and the Ariya for Nissan. These two models are based on a platform dedicated to electricity. Some will rightly say that there is also the Twingo ZE, but this is derived from its thermal version.
As for Mitsubishi Motors, it is one of the last Japanese manufacturers to accelerate its electrification strategy. The Japanese has just unveiled its three-year plan (2023-2025) Challenge 2025, which expects a sales volume of 1.1 million vehicles (operating margin of 7%). On the other hand, it is not clear whether electrified and hydrogen vehicles are included in this objective.
What is certain is that the launch of 16 new models over the next five years is planned. Among these new vehicles, nine will be electrified, including four fully electric. One will be produced in partnership with Nissan, a second with Renault and the other two will be a pick-up and a seven-seater SUV.
We already know two models. Let’s mention the Mitsubishi ASX, a clone (albeit…) of the Renault Captur, available in mild hybrid (12 V alternator-starter), hybrid and rechargeable hybrid versions, and the new Colt, a 100% electric compact based on the Renault Clio.
Mitsubishi has planned that 100% of its sales will be purely electric or hybrid by 2035. Thus, after 2026, 70% of R&D expenditure will be devoted to this transition compared to 20% today. We also know that the Japanese manufacturer is also considering taking a stake in the new electric car division created by Renault, Ampère.
Who says electrification, says battery. Mitsubishi Motors plans to invest by 2030 around 1.45 billion euros to procure battery packs, the volume of which is estimated at 15 GWh.
Better late than never. In terms of electrification, Mitsubishi Motors finally seems to be waking up, like Toyota, Honda and Nissan. A cause of this delay may be to be found in the fact that the parent company, Mitsubishi Corp, has ramifications in the gas and oil sector…
Return of the plug-in hybrid Outlander in European version
With just under 200,000 units sold in Europe in its plug-in hybrid version (PHEV), the Mitsubishi Outlander had become a real reference when it debuted in 2014. But since then, the one who is able to make – literally – coffee has is gradually being outpaced by the competition (Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Mercedes, Hyundai, Kia).
Although registrations of plug-in hybrids are not at the top of their game, in addition to being in the crosshairs of the European Commission, Mitsubishi Motors has nevertheless decided “to reinvest in the European D-SUV segment“, said Frank Krol, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe.
Knowing that “the first three generations of the Outlander (including only one in PHV) have sold more than half a million units in Europe since its launch in 2003, the new Outlander will therefore be the 4th generation; thanks to its technology and its design, it will allow the brand to establish its presence in Europe“, added Frank Krol.
If we have few details, this 4th generation of the Outlander, expected in 2024, will be radically different from the previous one, particularly in terms of design with a more muscular line and a gaping grille (Dynamic Shield). Under the hood, there is a second-generation plug-in hybrid (homemade) engine with two electric motors and Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive patented by Mitsubishi Motors in 2007.
Coming from the world of rallying (thanks to the EVO), the S-AWC makes it possible to control the torque sent to each of the wheels, thus improving road holding and crossing capabilities. On the PHEV version of the Outlander, the system controls the two electric motors, one per axle.