Mitsubishi’s XR-PHEV concept: Finally a Mitsu we want to drive! If only it were real

Mitsubishi lives!

The hard luck automaker is still doing exciting things, the latest of which is the XR-PHEV Evolution Vision concept. This angry looking concept, doesn’t exist in the physical world, but you can drive it. How is that possible? The concept is being debuted in Gran Turismo 6. So pick up your PS3 controllers and follow along.

The XR-PHEV is designed as a sort of an eco Lancer Evo. The concept has been conceived as a plug-in hybrid with power from both the gas engine and electric motors will be routed through an eight-speed dual clutch transmission. From there the power is managed by Mitsubishi’s proprietary S-AWC vehicle dynamic all-wheel drive.

All of this sounds great, but right now it is just strings of ones and zeroes liberated from the harsh constraints of reality. What might be more relevant in this concept is the styling, because it reveals the future course of Mitsubishi’s design team.

The design language used in the XR-PHEV has been dubbed the “Athlete Form” and while this may sound like marketing nonsense, there is some reason to it. The design is aggressive from any angle, with high shoulders sloping down to a low hung front, like a sprinter in a crouch. The XR-PHEV even has some impressive ‘footwear’, it features massive 20-inch aluminum rims. Or it would … if it were real.

While anything as radical as this concept is unlikely to ever hit showrooms, the XR-PHEV shows a progression of Mitsubishi’s super aggressive styling. Last year’s concept also – for confusion’s sake – dubbed the XR-PHEV crossover made use of the same if slightly less aggressive styling cues.

This is welcome news for Mitsubishi, because if the company intends to make a comeback it will need to make a splash. Efforts like the XR-PHEV concepts may just be beginnings, but they are least steps in the right direction.  

Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Ride with Batman, thanks to Intel and Warner Bros.’ car entertainment system

Instead of driving a car yourself in the future, you could kick back and read Batman comics as the vehicle drives you autonomously. That's the concept introduced by a Dark Knight-themed concept car at CES 2019.
Cars

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.