MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION (MMC) today unveiled the MI-TECH CONCEPT*1 small-sized electrified SUV concept car, MI-TECH CONCEPT, and the SUPER HEIGHT K-WAGON CONCEPT Kei car at Tokyo Motor Show 2019*2.
Takao Kato, chief executive officer, MMC, and Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer, MMC, presented those vehicles at the press conference and explained MMC's electrification strategy.
"We are dedicated to electrification technology, particularly plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)," Kato said. "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."
Gupta added that MMC plans to employ any of its electrification technologies to new midsize and compact SUV by 2022 as well as Kei car in the near future.
As for the SUPER HEIGHT K-WAGON CONCEPT, the company announced that it is the second wave of the next-generation Kei cars, and plans to release it by the end of this fiscal year.
1. Overview of MI-TECH CONCEPT
The MI-TECH CONCEPT was built to be "small plug-in hybrid electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind." This concept car embodies the MMC brand statement "Drive Your Ambition"*3 with 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.
(1) Dynamic Buggy Type Design
Under the concept of "Stimulates the driver's adventure", the MI-TECH CONCEPT is designed to be a dynamic buggy-type vehicle that embodies the very essence of Mitsubishi-ness.
A sense of progressiveness as an electric vehicle is expressed through the light blue body color and a secondary copper color in a motor coil motif on the grille, inner wheels, and interior.
The front end adopts MMC's signature Dynamic Shield new front design concept. It uses a satin plated color in the center of the grille, and copper as a secondary color to accentuate its expressiveness as an electrified vehicle.
T-shaped headlights are embedded in the front end to emphasize a distinguishing outward appearance.
On the lower bumper, aluminum skid plate is placed on both sides to protect the body, while the interior has an air intake.
On the sides, the highly raised overfenders and large diameter tires project a high level of mobility plus power as an SUV, as well as the stability to thoroughly grip the terrain. The body radiates grandeur and sharpness with a design reminiscent of a metal ingot carved in a cutting machine, while the use of a side step on the carved sides balances utility with design.
The rear-end was designed with large and bold hexagon carved from metal ingot to emphasize the robustness of SUV. The T-shaped tail lamp shared the same design pattern used on the front end.
Inside, a horizontal instrument panel and functional design makes handling easier. The horizontal theme is further accentuated by copper lines added on the instrument panel and steering wheel. Keyboard-shaped switches are positioned atop a center console with a horizontal theme, and the front handgrip also functions as a hand pad to make the switches easy to operate. Functions are presented in a straightforward manner, easy to understand just by seeing them and with a reassuring feel when pressed.
MMC emphasizes a design that gives driver extra peace of mind. The front window shield presents all the relevant information in graphics such as car behavior, terrain recognition, and optimal route guidance.
(2) Light, compact PHEV drivetrain
The power generator in the new PHEV drivetrain is a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator in place of the traditional gasoline engine. As environmental awareness grows and downsizing progresses, 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.
(3) Electric 4WD system
MMC took pride to apply its S-AWC*4 Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System to a Quad Motor 4WD System with front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC)*5 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.
(4) 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.
2. Overview of SUPER HEIGHT K-WAGON CONCEPT
The SUPER HEIGHT K-WAGON CONCEPT is a next-generation super height Kei wagon that caters to drivers who want to go more places and longer distances. Offering the wide-open passenger space of a super height Kei wagon, it delivers the performance and functionality required in that vehicle category but with a design that expresses the unique flavor of MMC's SUVs.
(1) Design that expresses powerful SUV flavor
MMC's Dynamic Shield front design concept was used for the front face, with a coated steel bar perpendicular to a horizontally-themed grille.
Its side view exudes power, with a cabin silhouette that utilizes a long wheelbase and sculpted, active character lines. At the same time, the side sill garnish and wheel arches were made black to accentuate the character and uniqueness of an SUV.
Designed with a color scheme to evoke the personality of drivers who want to be active outdoors, its body color is a two-tone combinations of olive green and white, with the silver roof rails. The wheels incorporate the same colors as body, producing an all-around unified appearance.
(2) Comfort at the top of its class, with a sophisticated interior
Offering the wide-open passenger space of a super height Kei wagon, passenger space was maximized in the back seats in particular with family use in mind. With the largest rear door opening and back seat legroom in its class, passengers have plenty of space to relax.
Its chic, premium interior uses brown as a main theme, with orange appearing ubiquitously as a secondary color. Synthetic leather is covered with diamond quilting for the seats to create a high quality feel.
(3) Brisk road performance with advanced driver assistance technology and safety equipped with a high-performance engine and CVT, the SUPER HEIGHT K-WAGON CONCEPT delivers brisk, stress-free road performance in low-speed and high-speed zones.
Incorporating the e-Assist preventive safety technology package-including MI-PILOT single-lane driver assistance on highways, a braking system that mitigates damage from collisions, and collision prevention assistance for pedal misapplication-that qualifies for Support Car S Wide safety classification by the Japanese government, MMC has eased the burden on the driver while providing safety and peace of mind to all passengers.
3. Overview of the 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.
(1) PHEV drivetrain
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 (km) (WLTP)*6, and with a fully charged battery and full fuel tank it has a total cruising range of more than 700 km (WLTP). This allows the smooth, powerful yet quiet ride characteristic of electric vehicles to continue even longer.
(2) 4WD System
The 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*7).
*1: The "M" in the name "MI-TECH" is for Mitsubishi, while the "I" is for intelligent, ingenious, and inspired. "Tech" is short for technology, altogether expressing how the vehicle is loaded with an abundance of MMC's technologies of the future.
*2: October 23th and 24th are Press Days, while the show is open to the public from October 25th through November 4th.
*3: "Drive your Ambition" is MMC's brand statement signaling the company's commitment to making cars that meet the aspirations of drivers who want to expand their horizons and take on new challenges.
*4: Super All Wheel Control.
*5: Active Yaw Control. The system that controls the driving and braking forces between the left and right wheels by accurately judging both driver operation and vehicle behavior based on information about steering angle, yaw rate, driving torque, brake pressure, wheel speed, and other parameters. Its result is vehicle behavior that is faithful to the driver's operation.
*6: The Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) laboratory test is used to measure
fuel consumption and CO2 emissions at urban road/rural road/highway in the average time of
*7: Active Stability Control. A system that reduces instability in vehicle behavior that results from slippery road surfaces and sudden steering operations.
About Mitsubishi Motors North America
Through a network of more than 360 dealer partners across the United States, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), is responsible for the sales, research and development, marketing and customer service of Mitsubishi Motors vehicles in the U.S. 2018 marked the brand's sixth consecutive year of sales growth.
Currently located in Cypress, California - and soon to be relocating to Franklin, Tennessee - MMNA is a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Mitsubishi continues to lead the way in the development of highly efficient, affordably priced new gasoline-powered automobiles, while using its industry-leading knowledge in battery-electric vehicles to develop future EV and PHEV models.
For more information on Mitsubishi vehicles, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.