Out of gas? Mitsubishi’s Engelberg Tourer concept can recharge with solar panels

Mitsubishi has a talent for designing stunning concept cars, but it usually doesn’t have the resources to put them into production. The latest concept car from the Japanese automaker is the Engelberg Tourer, an adventure-focused SUV debuting at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. But will it be another concept that’s all show and no go?

Named after the Swiss ski resort of Engelberg, the Engelberg Tourer features bold styling typical of Mitsubishi’s recent concept cars. The burly vehicle almost looks like a futuristic version of the cult-classic Montero SUV. The Montero was an old-school off-roader that helped kickstart the SUV craze, but like all of Mitsubishi’s best models, it was discontinued years ago. Mitsubishi previously hinted at a Montero replacement with the Concept GC-PHEV and GT-PHEV, but neither made it to production.

The Engelberg Tourer features a plug-in hybrid powertrain built around a 2.4-liter gasoline engine. This is most plausible part of the vehicle, as Mitsubishi already offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the Outlander. Like the Outlander, the Engelberg Tourer features Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), which constantly adjusts electronic driving aids like ABS, traction control, and stability control to help keep the driver from crashing. The plug-in hybrid SUV can drive up to 70 kilometers (43 miles) on electricity alone, using the European WLTP test cycle, according to Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi also offers an eco-friendly option for charging. The Engelberg Tourer features “Dendo Drive House,” which includes solar panels, a bidirectional charger, and a stationary home battery pack. Owners could theoretically charge both the SUV and the stationary battery pack using solar panels — completely avoiding grid electricity. That saves money and could potentially reduce emissions (owners don’t have to worry about the electricity for their car coming from a coal-fired power plant).

Because the Dendo Drive House charger is bidirectional, the car and stationary battery pack can also discharge stored electricity to power a house during outages, according to Mitsubishi. These systems have become a major talking point in Japan since a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the country in 2011. Mitsubishi parent Nissan is also experimenting with the technology, which is sometimes referred to as “vehicle-to-grid,” or “V2G” for short. But regulatory issues make offering these systems in the U.S. more complicated. It’s also unlikely that the battery packs being discussed will be able to power an average U.S. home for more than a few hours.

The Engelberg Tourer, then, is a typical Mitsubishi concept car. It looks cool, and has some neat tech features, but it probably won’t go into production. Mitsubishi is steadily improving its actual production cars, but the once-mighty automaker has a long way to go before catching up with Honda, Nissan, and Toyota.

Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Cars

Karma Automotive continues clawing back from the brink with three new cars

Karma Automotive will bring three new cars to the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including a long overdue redesigned version of its Revero plug-in hybrid and an all-electric concept car.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Cars

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…
Cars

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.
Cars

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.