After a very long wait, the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid is now set to hit the US market in the near future — with the targeted release date being sometime as early as May 2016, reportedly.
It’s a bit hard to explain the reasoning behind the long wait to introduce the model in the US — the only credible explanation (to my ears) being that there were supply constraints, so better to focus on the European and Asian markets, rather than potentially spread out too thinly. However, there’s also word that Mitsubishi was for a while on the verge of pulling out of the US entirely. Who knows — but the electric SUV field in the US is now home to a number of offerings, so the company might have missed its chance.
Gas 2 provides more:
Building further on its reputation for building good 4-wheel drive vehicles, it will introduce an all-new crossover in 2017 that is intended to fill the gap between the compact Outlander Sport and the mid-size Outlander. The new offering will feature coupe styling, as it is now all the rage to build SUVs that are as small as possible inside and out. That makes no sense, of course, but that’s what customers say they want.
Mitsubishi says it will introduce a redesigned Outlander in 2018 and a new Outlander Sport in 2019. The all-new crossover and the Outlander will offer customers a choice of conventional or plug-in hybrid powertrains. The new Outlander Sport will have an all-electric option, the company says. The woeful i-MiEV electric sedan will continue on with no changes. It is presently selling at the dismal rate of only 10 cars a month.
I honestly don’t know what to make of the choices being made by many established auto manufacturers with regard to electric vehicles — the companies seem to be taking everything absolutely as slowly as they can in this regard, leaving themselves open to outsiders like Tesla, Faraday Future, Apple, and others. Seems a strange choice to make, as change is quite definitely coming to the industry over the next decade or two.