|Powertrain elements in the Outlander PHEV. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will present the global debut of the new Outlander SUV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month.
The Outlander PHEV, which combines a Twin Motor 4WD system comprising two 60 kW independent electric motors (one on each axle); a 12 kWh Li-ion battery pack; and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine, has a targeted fuel economy in excess of 61 km/liter (143.5 mpg US, 1.6 l/100km) and a cruising range in excess of 880 km (547 miles). (Fuel economy figure is based on a combination of fuel consumption when driven in all-electric mode, called the plug-in fuel efficiency, and when driven in hybrid mode, called the hybrid fuel efficiency, measured via Japan’s JC08 mode.)
Depending on driving conditions and remaining battery charge, the Plug-in Hybrid EV powertrain automatically selects the optimum drive mode:
EV Drive Mode. EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery.
Series Hybrid Mode. In Series Hybrid Mode the gasoline engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient such as a slope.
Parallel Hybrid Mode. In Parallel Hybrid Mode the gasoline engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required. The system switches to this mode for higher-speed driving when the gasoline engine operates at peak efficiency.
Twin Motor 4WD System. In the Twin Motor 4WD system, the front motor delivers 137 N·m (101 lb-ft) of torque, the rear, 195 N·m (144 lb-ft). In addition to decreased friction loss, Twin Motor 4WD delivers better response and finer control than conventional mechanical systems. It accomplishes this without a propeller shaft or other mechanical components seen in conventional mechanical systems.
The Twin Motor 4WD system is integrated with Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system to deliver high levels of stability and all-terrain performance.
Battery pack. The high-capacity 12 kWh lithium-ion drive battery gives Outlander PHEV an EV Drive Mode cruising range of more than 55 km (34 miles) in the JC08 cycle, sufficient for all-electric operation in most everyday situations in Japan. A JCAP (Japan Clean Air Program) study conducted in Japan showed that on average, 85% of Japanese drivers drove less than 55km per day.
The driver can also manually switch to Battery Charge Mode in which the gasoline engine acts as a generator (70 kW generating capacity) and charges the drive battery whether the vehicle is stationary or on the move. Battery Charge Mode gives the driver the flexibility to use the gasoline engine as a generator at any time they want; for example if the driver wants to use EV Drive Mode at a specific time, they can make sure the drive battery has enough energy for that time.
Charge time at 200 V AC (15 Amp) is approximately 4.5 hours for a full charge; quick-charging time is approximately 30 minutes for an 80% charge.
The new Outlander PHEV is based on the new Outlander which made it debut in Russia in July and which will be introduced in other European markets starting from September. MMC will introduce Outlander PHEV in the Japanese market in early 2013 then sequentially roll out the model in Europe, North America, and other markets around the world.