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Mitsubishi to Introduce New Series-Hybrid MIEV Concept Car at 2006 Detroit Show

Sketch of the Concept-CT MIEV

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA) will introduce a new series-hybrid 4WD sport compact concept car—the Concept-CT MIEV—at the 2006 North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Motor Show) in January.

The CT concept uses the Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle (MIEV) technology (earlier post) shown earlier this year in a prototype Lancer MIEV. A gasoline engine will work as the genset with the lithium-ion battery pack to provide power for the in-wheel electric motors.

The new in-wheel motor uses a hollow doughnut construction that locates the rotor outside the stator as opposed to a common electric motor where the rotor turns inside the stator. Mitsubishi points to several benefits from this design for the motor:

  • Greater ease of raising power output and torque.

  • Higher torque allows the speed reducer unit to be eliminated, meaning less weight and improved power transmission efficiency.

  • Better space efficiency with the brake assembly fitting inside the motor which itself fits neatly within the wheel house.

  • The outer-rotor arrangement also surmounts the difficulties presented to date by the steering system, making it suitable for fitting to and driving the front wheels—and facilitating 4WD in-wheel motor vehicles.

As applied in the Lancer prototype, each motor, manufactured by Toyo Denki Seizo K.K., produces a maximum output of 50 kW with 518 Nm of torque.




All we need next is a BioDiesel Turbocharged Diesel Hybrid to recharge the Lithium-Ions.


2072 Nm of Torque!

Highest of any car in the world.

tom deplume

One advantage this system has over conventional 4WD is that the most current and torque goes to the slowest wheel.

Mark A

I think for the first time, I find myself in agreement with Lucas on this. What a great concept, and the outer rotor design allows easier brake/hub components. Its a shame Ferdinand Porsche didnt have these technologies in the early part of the last century. We could have been driving battery powered cars, with motors in each wheel, for the entire last century. Just think of the developments that could have occured in the last 90 years. Hopefully we will catch up soon, to where we should have been.


I presume the brake needs air flow for cooling. Doesn't this mean that the in-wheel motor gets exposed to dirt and mud? I knew someone who knew someone who drove their 4WD through a creek once.


I once knew someone that tried something new. It's very rare in the automotive world.

richard schumacher

Engineers at AC Propulsion have pointed out potential problems with this approach:

1. it increases the un-sprung mass
2. there will be severe torque steer if the motor in one wheel fails (the condition would have to be detected and the opposing motor shut down rapidly)


Yeah, finally they turn the right direction.
Lets see if the big sleepers like GM, BMW, Mercedes etc. will follow.
This car would be my first import.

Dear Mitsubishi engineers don't forget to add Plug-in support, at least optional for production vehicles.
感 謝


"2072 Nm of Torque!"

I think there wont be enought power to let that thing have 2072 Torque, those power might just burn up the batteries, unless maybe they tweak the thing with some super caps.


"2072 Nm of Torque!

Highest of any car in the world."
Don't let numbers like these fool you.
Since this is an in wheel motor, there is no reduction gear in the transmission or differential. So 2072 nm is torque at the wheel. There are plenty of internal combustion powered cars that put more torque to the wheels than this thing.
Mercedes E320 CDI for example produces 500nm at the crank, has a 3.5:1 first gear, and 2.65:1 differential. Thats 4637 nm at the wheels!
There is no point in using 4 large in wheel electric motors to do the job of one chassis mounted motor with a reduction gear. At to that the obvious handling disadvantages and just the sheer weight and cost and you'll realize this is just another publicity concept to fool the masses. You will never see a production car with in wheel electric motors.

Mark A

"I knew someone who knew someone who drove their 4WD through a creek once....."

Aussie, if you would have read the earlier post you would have seen that Mitsu installed these "in wheel" motors in a "rally" car, to evaluate its performance under water, and in sand and dirt. The earlier post claims a top speed of 112 mph.

The exploded "view" of this motor in the earlier post leaves the impression that the size, or unsprung weight would not be much different than a regular hub and brake disc.

As far as one chassis mounted motor driving through a transmission as opposed to a motor in each wheel, I do not know which is more beneficial. I do know that there are power losses which occur in directing power through a transmission/transaxle etc., so my first though is that applying power at the wheel is the most direct, efficient route.

I still applaude Mitsu for this concept, and for applying it to a rally car. Maybe they are on to something here. Lets hope.......


The myth of unsprung weight springs up again. Do you think that massive rear end differential is sprung?

A college professor at GA Tech said this to me a couple of years ago. Here he is - supposed to be teaching innovative thinking to new automotive engineers and he's dwelling on what HE thinks can't be done.



With a genset providing electrical charge to the lithium-ion batteries -- Does any one know the range of this vehicle. I spose you could drive as far and as long as you had fuel in the genset to recharge the batteries?? Speaking of battries, does any one know if the newer quick recharge lithium-inon batteries (recharges to 90% in 5 minutes or so) uses the same or more power then a lithium-ion battery that takes 6 to 8 hours to recharge?? Just wondering.


"Aussie, if you would have read the earlier post you would have seen that Mitsu installed these "in wheel" motors in a "rally" car, to evaluate its performance under water, and in sand and dirt. The earlier post claims a top speed of 112 mph."

Read that story again. it was not a rally car. It was a road going EVO modified with an electric drive train to compete in an ON ROAD electric car rally against other electric car. This has nothing to do with WRC style rallies.

"The myth of unsprung weight springs up again. Do you think that massive rear end differential is sprung?"

In a live axle the differential, half shafts and half of the drive shaft is unsprung weight. This is why you never see new cars being made with live axle except a few ford products like mustang and crown vic. The ride and handling are inferior to an independent suspension. But in a pickup truck where ride and handling doesn't matter, a live axle is a cheap way to cary a lot of weight. There is reason the live axle has been abandoned by all family cars and sports cars. All that unsprung weight makes for a horrible ride. It works one some full size SUVs because they weight well over 2 tons and you simply don't feel any thing with all that mass. But even some of these vehicles are abandoning the live axle.
In any FWD or RWD car with independent rear suspension the differential is sprung weight.
The issue of unsprung weight is a very real.


My choice: I'll wait and see...

Jesse Jenkins

For all you worried about the in-wheel motors, Mitsubishi has been testing these things in various vehicles since May of this year, starting with the Colt. If they had encountered any insurmountable problems, they would have bagged the idea by now. Instead, they are showing off more and more testbeds and concepts and are accompanying this with more PR. Doesn't look like they are too worried about any problems with the motors. Why don't we relax and wait and see what Mistubishi delivers.

Jesse Jenkins

There seems to be

Jesse Jenkins

There seems to be

Jesse Jenkins

Ok, lets try this one more time (this time w/ouy broken HTML tags):

There seems to be some talk (from a VP for Marketing at Mitsubishi) that they are considering a plug-in hybrid mini car for release to the U.S. "after 2008". An intruiging rumor I must say...


"There seems to be some talk (from a VP for Marketing at Mitsubishi) that they are considering a plug-in hybrid mini car for release to the U.S. "after 2008". An intruiging rumor I must say..."
They'll probably just buy the licenses for the toyota technology the way ford, nissan and subaru have. There is simply no sound reason to put 4 motors in the wheels. Its an inefficient use of space, weight and money. This is just smoke and mirrors from Mitsu to grab a few headlines and divert attention from the fact that sales are in the dumps and they are very close to pulling out of the US market.


There are other possibilities with 4 inwheel motors that did not exist in the past with conventional mechanics that have nothing to do with fuel economy or problems with grime in the motor. tom deplune was on the ball with looking at the bigger picture:
a)can have various rotational speeds per wheel.
Meaning a step forward in idiot proof driving, where the ESP and stability control computer can determine which wheel to slow down or speed up for various effects. Good for 4wd vehicles of all things
b)can steer wheels independently.
Without any linked mechanics, the wheels can turn in any combination, meaning tight turns inteh city, or crab like parallel parking,. etc.
c)can place wheels anywhere on teh chassis
Shape of cars to this point were dictated by their mechanical skeletons.
Without axles, the wheels can be put anywhere, as can the engine. The capability to raise or lower the car as road conditions and speed demand. You could have the wheel right next to your right elbow and drive 2 cm off the ground. then when you stop the car could raise to make it easier for you to step out.
Furthermore, the redundancy in such a car would be phenominal. three of the four tyre motors could fail, but as long as the engine management could slightly adjust the steering of the car as it accelerates and get you to the nearest mechanic then all the better. Even the motor could fail. the battery might provide the juice,. etc
Also such cars can be very modlar. the engine or individual wheels could be replaced with soemthing more economical or of a diferent form factor, as is the case if you want your family car to be converted into an offroad vehicles with a higher ride height and more beefy motor. Everything could be made to slot out.


Looks like everyone is beginning to understand what I have been saying for years here and at other forums.

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