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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveils MI-TECH CONCEPT small SUV PHEV

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the MI-TECH CONCEPT electrified small SUV concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019. The company is also showcasing the twin-motor, 4WD Engelberg Tourer, unveiled in March in Geneva (earlier post).

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We are dedicated to electrification technology, particularly plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). We will be expanding our lineup of electrified vehicles by delivering more variations and leveraging the diverse electrification technology in the alliance to make MMC the leader in the PHEV category going forward.

—Takao Kato, chief executive officer, MMC

Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer, MMC, added that MMC plans to employ any of its electrification technologies to new mid-size and compact SUVs by 2022 as well as Kei cars in the near future.

The MI-TECH CONCEPT was built to be a “small plug-in hybrid electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind.” This concept car features a lightweight, compact, new PHEV drivetrain, a four-motor electric 4WD system, and advanced driver assist and preventive safety technologies—all packed into the small-sized electrified SUV.

The power generator in the new PHEV drivetrain is a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator in place of the traditional gasoline engine. The concept explores the technological proposition to plug the PHEV drivetrain into a small SUV. The gas turbine engine-generator has a powerful output for its size and weight.

Another benefit of the gas turbine is its flexibility to run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, kerosene and alcohol which can be selected depending on the regions. Further, its exhaust is clean so it responds to environmental and energy issues.

Electric 4WD system. MMC took pride to apply its S-AWC Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System to a Quad Motor 4WD System with front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) units. Making the brake calipers electric has also allowed for high response, high accuracy control of drive and braking force of the four wheels while delivering a drastic improvement in turning and traction performance.

When driving off-road and two wheels are spinning out, the ability to transmit the optimal driving force to all four wheels makes it possible to transmit force to the two wheels still on the ground and keep driving. MMC has thus delivered a safe, exhilarating driving experience in which the driver feels with the vehicle in all conditions, either in daily driving or when traversing rough roads, while also allowing for thrilling new driving experiences such as 180-degree spins by counter-rotating the left and right tires.

Advanced driver assistance and preventive safety technologies. The vehicle comes equipped with Human Machine Interface (HMI) which displays various information detected through sensing technology including advanced optical sensors on an augmented reality (AR) windshield. With vehicle, road, and surrounding traffic conditions shown on the AR windshield, drivers can make accurate, heads-up decisions even in poor visibility.

Equipped also with MI-PILOT, next-generation driver assistance technology, the concept car extends driver support not only on freeways and ordinary roads, but also on unpaved roads.

Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer. The MITSUBISHI ENGELBERG TOURER, an SUV with three-row seats, evolves MMC’s own Twin Motor PHEV drivetrain developed in the Outlander PHEV with the addition of next-generation electrification technology and four-wheel control.

The high-capacity drive battery comes installed under the floor in the center of the vehicle. While it employs the Twin Motor system that places high-output, high-efficiency motors at both the front and the rear, the PHEV drivetrain has been made more compact and the layout has been optimized to deliver more passenger space and make it possible to offer a package with three rows of seats.

The MITSUBISHI ENGELBERG TOURER has an EV cruising range of more than 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) (WLTP), and with a fully charged battery and full fuel tank it has a total cruising range of more than 700 km (435 miles) (WLTP).

The 4WD system employs AYC to control the distribution of drive power among the front two wheels, along with full-time 4WD with the Twin Motor system that places high-output, high-efficiency motors at both the front and the rear. These are combined with MMC’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle behavior control system which dramatically boosts driving performance - driving, cornering, and stopping - by integrating control of braking force at each wheel (Anti-Lock Braking System - ABS) and the front and rear motor output (Active Stability Control - ASC).

Comments

sd

A small gas turbine? Really? Another idea that had come and gone back in the 1950's. The efficiency of gas turbines is very dependent on size and small gas turbines are very inefficient. I guess is crazy time in Japan.

Arnold

Wasn't crazy made compulsory a few years back? anyhow this is concept teaser.
I guess designers are thinking about lightweight backup on board charging for no go situations as more relevant than as a range extender .
Reminds me of the emergency flat tyre seen on many modern vehicles.
Does a drivetrain get any better? The added cost may not be as high as one may think as duplication is for a very few downsized components and even fewer xtra manufacturing processes.

Arnold

Note single speed transmissions in combination with switchable (free-wheeling) motors on front and rear axles has shown energy savings as well as acceleration and F/R handling capability. I would suggest that 4 motor vectoring and power delivery would leverage those advantages.

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