Mitsubishi unveils electric mobility concept
26 October 2017
Author: Rachel Boagey
Mitsubishi has pulled the covers off its e-Evolution concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The all-electric, four-wheel drive SUV has been labelled a 'technology concept' by the manufacturer and was created to showcase its future electric powertrain technologies as well as Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.
At the show, Mitsubishi's executive vice-president, Mitsuhiko Yamashita, described the concept as a "fully electric preview of the brand's adventurous future strategy" and a new direction for the manufacturer, which incorporates an SUV with an EV drivetrain and connected mobility.
The all-electric high-performance SUV falls under Mitsubishi's 'Drive your Ambition' global tagline, which pushes for innovative and progressive products. Mitsubishi says the rugged stance of the concept car reflects "the readiness to grip the ground with all four wheels and the agility of a high-performance cross-country tourer". The crossover also apparently predicts how the manufacturer's new Nissan Juke rival will look.
The front design of the concept is a fresh take on Mitsubishi's Dynamic Shield design. A sharply slanted front windshield and short overhangs give the concept a unique side profile enabled by electric propulsion. Bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof enhance the vehicle's muscular styling.
Technical specification details are scarce at this point, but we know the concept is powered by three torque-filled electric motors - one at the front and two at the rear.
Using these high-torque and high-performance electric motors, supplied by a high-capacity battery system, the concept aims to deliver responsive performance. Its triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels and a new dual-motor system to couple two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring unit.
A multitude of sensors allow the AI system to read changes in road and traffic conditions. Mitsubishi also says the car uses the system to monitor the driver's skill level with various cameras and can build a training programme to improve it. The AI system can also connect with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, depending on which system the owner opts for.
On the inside, a large flatscreen spans the full width of the dashboard, displaying sat-nav and coaching information, as well as outside conditions. On either side, two smaller screens allow the driver to see images from the front and rear cameras. Impressively, the full-glass windscreen provides a nearly 360° unobstructed view for the driver.
"We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers' desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully considered functionality Mitsubishi Motors is known for," said Mitsubishi's head of global design Tsunehiro Kunimoto.
Recent years have seen an influx of concept car activity from Mitsubishi. It also achieved what many car manufacturers failed to do a couple of years ago - namely, judge the UK's mood and appetite for plug-in hybrids perfectly with its production Outlander PHEV.
There's no word just yet about a production model of the e-Evolutuon concept, but the manufacturer is focusing its efforts on bringing out six new models and five facelifts during the next three years, most of which will be electrification and all-wheel-drive SUVs.
Mitsubishi says that showcasing the e-Evolution demonstrates the future technologies that could allow it to produce an all-electric SUV geared for mobility, along with its new model releases, from 2020 onwards. The brand aims to expand its customer base, and leverage its strong pedigree of driving performance and reliability for SUVs and crossovers alike.