Mitsubishi showcases new plug-in hybrid concepts

Mitsubishi Motors, ahead of the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, announced plans to showcase at that event two new plug-in hybrid concepts. The automaker to date has mostly been a footnote in the evolving low carbon transportation market, so it will be interesting to see specifics of what these concepts offer as a clue into future green vehicle development.

From what we know at this point, the first concept is called the Concept GC-PHEV. A full-sized SUV that uses a “high output” plug-in hybrid electric system, it offers up an “integrated vehicle dynamic control system” that “delivers superior handling, stability as well as the all-terrain capability an SUV offers.” It also will sport connectivity features focused upon “preventive safety” and “driver support.”

image via Mitsubishi Motors

The other plug-in hybrid design study Mitsubishi will be showing off is the Concept XR-PHEV. Another SUV idea, this hybrid will offer what’s described as “enhanced environmental performance” in a body style resembling a sport coupe.

Currently, Mitsubishi has out in the market, or is planning to bring to market, itsOutlander PHEV and the all-electric i-MiEV. The latter has not met with much success to date in consumer circles, and has been the subject of issues such as airbag recalls. As for the Outlander plug-in hybrid, the jury is still out on how well it will do domestically. Over in Japan, where it is already on sale, reports had surfaced months ago that the batteries in one vehicle had overheated and been damagedafter being recharged and left in a dealer lot.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling