While the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) has been available on the European and Japanese markets for literally years now, the American release just seems to be getting pushed back indefinitely.
On that note, recent reports have stated that the popular plug-in hybrid SUV won’t be available in American showrooms until May 2016.
As you probably realize, this puts the release date well after the (current) release date for the Model X — Tesla’s SUV offering, which is fully electric, rather than a hybrid.
As far as specs for the American release, there are expected to be no significant changes to the powertrain from previous versions. So consumers can expect: two electric motors (one motor to each set of wheels), a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, and a 12-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery module.
This also means that the American offering will have “32.5 miles of electric only range” as determined on the European testing cycle (actual range, as determined by American agencies, will be a fair bit lower).
In addition to having to compete (in a way) with the Model X, the Outlander PHEV will also have to compete with PHEVs from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Volvo… once they all get released here in the US. Considering that these competitor offerings are also set for release relatively soon, it’s too bad that Mitsubishi took so long getting the American release in order. Of course, the stated reasons for the delays has been lack of battery supply and high sales in Europe (where it has been the top-selling EV) and Japan.
Worth noting here is that the company is reportedly working on other PHEVs to supplement the Outlander PHEV.