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.