Skip to main content

Mitsubishi unveils its future in LA: the XR-PHEV plug-in hybrid

Despite its problems, Mitsubishi is not going gently into that good night. The Japanese automaker’s newly unveiled XR-PHEV concept shows that Mitsubishi is still fighting.  This impressive piece of kit hopes to balance the companies EVO performance expertise with its innovations from the MiEV electric car to create a whole new look for the company.

We have already seen images of the XR-PHEV’s  styling, so the real news for the car is related to its powertrain. The crossover coupe will be, in-essence, a plugin hybrid. The front wheels will be driven by a 1.1-liter inline 3-cylinder turbo, that can put out 134 horsepower. That is a better power to displacement ratio than a brand-new Corvette. Complementing the feisty gas engine will be a compact electric motor that can deliver another 161 horsepower.

The combined 294 horsepower could be enough to give the XR-PHEV some real performance. In practice that will depend greatly on how much the car ends up weighing, which Mitsubishi hasn’t revealed. Hopefully the 14 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium ion battery back won’t hold the car back.

Still, at least the car should be very efficient. Mitsubishi reports a EV only range of 53 miles and better than 65 mpg in hybrid mode. That is impressive for what should be a spacious crossover.

But the powertrain is only half the story. Mitsubishi has crammed the XR-PHEV, at least in theory, with new tech. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the AR Windshield, which sadly isn’t some new kind of assault rifle, but instead stands for Augmented Reality. Following in line with the innovations unveiled by Jaguar-Land Rover, this system can display distances to the vehicle ahead, navigation directions, and highlight vehicles or pedestrians in the path of travel.

In fact the AR windshield will be at the center of a suite of new, at least to Mitsubishi, connected services. While Mitsubishi hopes to introduce a whole suite of services, a few caught our eye. The most exciting of which would be the XR-PHEV’s ability to communicate not just with the car’s around it, but also the traffic infrastructure itself. For example, the car’s Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control could look ahead to see the status of lights and traffic and plan acceleration and deceleration with the car’s around it to make the most efficient use of space.

While this sort of technology requires more than just building one new car, it is exciting to see that Mitsubishi has ambitious plans for the future. The XR-PHEV is just such an ambitious project, and one that deserves to be built. Hopefully, Mitsubishi remains committed enough to the market that it happens.

Editors' Recommendations

Peter Braun
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Peter is a freelance contributor to Digital Trends and almost a lawyer. He has loved thinking, writing and talking about cars…
The 5 best portable power inverters for cars in 2024
A man enjoying the Energizer 4000W power inverter.

Whether there’s a power outage locally or you’re driving to a remote location, sometimes we just need portable power. While you could lug around one of the best portable power stations to get your remote electricity fix, your best bet may be one of the best portable power inverters instead. These devices draw energy directly from your car’s battery, giving you accessibility to power without needing to carry around a very heavy battery, charge it, or any of the other hassles associated with portable energy. If you have a car, you’re ready to use a portable power inverter.

Read more
2025 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid gets improved tech features
2025 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid driving.

The 2025 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid is adding plug-in efficiency to one of the most popular crossover SUVs on the market. For the 2025 model year, it gets its first major update since its launch, gaining a new infotainment display, more software-based features, and some mild styling updates.

Along with the rest of the 2025 Tucson lineup, the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid switches from the previous dual-screen setup to a panoramic curved display that combines a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. A 12.0-inch head-up display is available as well.

Read more
Tech giant reveals nice price for new EV to take on Tesla
Xiaomi's first electric car, the SU7.

Xiaomi's first electric car, the SU7. Xiaomi

Tesla already has a tough time in China competing with local auto behemoth BYD, but a new arrival in the electric vehicle market is set to make things even more challenging for the Elon Musk-led automaker.

Read more