Mitsubishi’s leading-edge technology has been applied throughout its vehicle range to keep the carmaker competitive and heighten the ownership experience for you. Most recently, the firm has been focused on improving the efficiency of its vehicles and reducing the volume of emissions they release. This approach has seen Mitsubishi create new, environmentally-friendly models and refine existing technology for more responsible output.
Here we introduce three key leading Mitsubishi technologies that help to position the manufacturer as one of the industry’s most forward-thinking.
Two creations encapsulate Mitsubishi’s progressive technology perfectly – the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle System (PHEV) and the i-MiEV city car.
i-MiEV is the name of Mitsubishi’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) and the embodiment of various cutting-edge technologies. Clean, quiet and capable, the city car redefines EV conventions and what it means to be a motorist.
Technology underpins every aspect of this exciting model. Most notable of all is the 100 percent electric powertrain. In place of an engine is a 66bhp electric motor and accompanying 16kWh battery which boasts zero CO2 emissions. Taking into account the CO2 that is released at the power plants which charge the model, the i-MiEV still emits around 30 percent of the amount a petrol car would. Not just clean, the powertrain is remarkably quiet and smooth which enhances your on-board experience.
The inclusion of such a sophisticated system hasn’t meant that usability and convenience is lost. The vehicle has a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge which covers most everyday journeys. Topping up the battery is effortless and quick. All you need to do is plug the car into a standard three-pin socket at home to charge from completely flat to full in seven hours. When you use a rapid charger, which are now found at various public locations, an 80 percent charge can be achieved in just 30 minutes.
As the price of electricity is currently cheaper than fuel, the i-MiEV represents a more cost-effective option than a petrol or diesel car. Fuel isn’t the only saving offered by the vehicle. When you purchase a brand new version you pay no road tax for the first year.
An alternative to the i-MiEV is Mitsubishi’s PHEV. In the UK the Outlander PHEV is the first and only PHEV on sale, although others will likely arrive in the future. The Outlander PHEV brings hybrid power to the SUV for the twin benefits of strong performance and efficient output.
The model’s dual power source comprises a 2.0-litre petrol engine with twin electric motors which it switches between or uses together to achieve maximum efficiency. One of three driving modes is automatically selected to suit the driving conditions.
In the city when the Outlander PHEV will be travelling at lower speeds the car will remain in EV Mode. This drives the SUV using only the motors and electricity from the battery. As the battery energy drops the system switches to Series Hybrid Mode which starts the petrol engine and uses it to generate power for the motors. As vehicle speed increases the engine then takes over to drive the wheels, as it is more efficient in this situation than the motors.
As vehicle performance and the driving environment changes the technology switches between modes without your intervention, but in most circumstances it remains in the most efficient EV Mode. A maximum range of 31 miles is possible in this mode, which is ample for most daily trips.
Like the i-MiEV the Outlander PHEV can be charged at home or at one of the hundreds of public stations. When at home, empty to full takes just five hours using the five metre charging cable which Mitsubishi supplies. Rapid charging adds 80 percent charge in half an hour.
Other noteworthy technology from the SUV includes the downloadable multi-function app. With its help you can prepare the car for the journey ahead without having to take your seat inside it. The application enables you to operate the climate control system, view the current charge level and set-up a charge remotely.
The Outlander PHEV and other Mitsubishi models benefit from the brand’s MIVEC engines which are underpinned by cutting-edge valve timing technology. The unit has received constant refinement since the first version was produced in 1992. The latest iteration controls intake valve timing and valve lift at the same time to extract the most efficiency from each trip. Pumping losses are reduced by adjusting the volume of air that is brought into the engine. Piston friction is minimised at the same time which together result in lower fuel consumption.
The MIVEC engine’s simple SOHC structure maintains the same performance as the previous variant on top of the improvements to efficiency and economy. The accompanying Automatic Stop and Go (AS&G) idling system starts and stops the unit smoothly with minimal vibration thanks to the reduced air intake volume.
AS&G makes a massive contribution to the economy of any vehicle it is fitted to. In short, the innovation shuts down the engine when you stop in traffic and turns it back on again instantly as you pull away. The reasons for this are to prevent fuel wastage when the car is sat idle and to lower the volume of CO2 that is emitted. AS&G works automatically and instantly so your journeys – and enjoyment – are not interrupted. It also recognises when you are parking, moving slowly in a traffic jam, or on a slope, and will keep the engine running in these situations as engine power is still needed.
Even more technological advancements can be expected from Mitsubishi as the automaker seeks to advance and improve its cars. For every latest-generation model please enquire and book a test drive with Birchwood Mitsubishi in Eastbourne.