Mitsubishi gives its Outlander PHEV a little more style with the Concept-S

Luxury brands like BMW and Volvo may be planning plug-in hybrid SUVs, but Mitsubishi was there first.

Various delays have kept the current Outlander Plug-In Hybrid out of U.S. dealers, but it’s been on sale in other markets for some time.

Mitsubishi will preview an update for this trail-blazing crossover at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, with the Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

The Concept-S is pitched as a “design package” for the standard Outlander PHEV, with sportier exterior and interior styling that the production version could definitely use.

The front end appears inspired by the trio of green concept cars Mitsubishi unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, and features a bold “X” shape comprised of the grille, headlights, and lower air intakes.

Mitsubishi needs a new design to replace the old Lancer Evolution X-inspired shark nose, and this looks like it would fit the bill.

Related: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution bows out with 2015 model

The “X” shape is repeated at the back, where full-width taillights make a dramatic statement. Eat your heart out, Lincoln MKC.

The interior is less stylized, but added wood-grain accents, silver trim, and plenty of leather give it a more upscale appearance.

The powertrain is unchanged from the production Outlander PHEV. That means it includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Different driving modes distribute the work between internal combustion and electricity, and include part-time four-wheel drive.

The Outlander PHEV Concept-S debuts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show next week. The production Outlander PHEV still won’t arrive in the U.S. for some time, but when it does, it just might get some of the concept’s updated styling.

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