Mitsubishi Will Launch Outlander Plug-in Hybrid in December

By · October 20, 2017

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid

It’s been nearly five years since Mitsubishi announced that its Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will soon go on sale. But now, after repeated delays and recalls, the company says it will finally introduce the plug-in SUV later this year. The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is expected to arrive in dealerships in December 2017.

The base price for the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will be $34,595—establishing the vehicle as by far the most affordable plug-in SUV on the market. Comparable plug-in hybrid SUVs from BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo are priced between about $60,000 and $70,000. The higher trim GT version of the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will start at $41,235—bringing a premium audio system, adaptive cruise control, power sunroof, and LED headlights.

The lower price tag for the Outlander represent a trade-off for electric-car shoppers: The Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid is not as plush as the competition but provides an off-road capability for a lot less money. The Outlander Plug-in Hybrid uses two 80-horsepower electric motors—one in front and one in back—to produce what Mitsubishi calls “super all-wheel control.” Buyers would need to invest about $15,000 more for a similarly spacious plug-in hybrid that handles rough terrain.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid

The Outlander Plug-in Hybrid should qualify for a federal income-tax credit of nearly $6,000. It’s expected to be sold in all 50 states.

The 12 kilowatt-hour battery pack should provide about 20 miles of all-electric range before the car reverts solely to its gasoline engine. Total combined output is 197 horsepower. Official EPA driving range and fuel-economy numbers are not yet available.

The model will reportedly come standard with DC Fast Charging capability, a curious approach for a plug-in hybrid with a relatively small battery pack. The Fast Charging could allow the model’s battery pack to be recharged to about 80-percent of its capacity in less than 25 minutes. Otherwise, charging the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid from a 240-volt charging station would take a few hours.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid

The model is strictly a five-seat vehicle. Third-row seating is not available in the plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander. However, the vehicle provides other desirable functions—such paddle shifters on the steering column to control the amount of regenerative braking, and two AC power outlets in the rear seat and cargo areas, allowing passengers to plug in portable household appliances without needing an adaptor.

Approximately 100,000 units of the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid have been sold in Japan and Europe since the model was introduced in those markets in 2014. However, Mitsubishi expects to sell fewer than 4,000 units per year in the US.

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