Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mitsubishi really disappointed lots of people at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show when it initially teased "The Return of a Legend." That over-hyped unveiling was really just the North American debut of the GC-PHEV, first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The Japanese automaker is getting a second chance to impress with its hook to "Come See the New Face of Mitsubishi Motors" at the New York Auto Show on April 2. Maybe the company can do a little bit better this time, even if the surprise is already spoiled.

Mitsubishi announced that it would unveil the refreshed 2016 Outlander in the Big Apple a month ago in Chicago. It's almost certainly the vehicle on display on the brand's invitation, above. While the single shot shows off a design very reminiscent of the current model, earlier spy shots indicate changes are in store for both the front fascia and much of the rear end. A look in the vein of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S from the 2014 Paris Motor Show seems likely.

The restyling is also rumored to be timed with the plug-in hybrid version's US debut. However, after that vehicle's multiple delays, it might be best to wait and see.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV II on display at the Geneva Motor Show isn't really a completely new vehicle but more of thorough reworking of the earlier XR-PHEV from the2013 Tokyo Motor Show. For the latest interpretation, the Japanese brand is getting the design ready for an eventual debut for the road.

While the two concepts look practically identical at first glance, the XR-PHEV II is far more possible for production than its predecessor. The grille and hood now feature openings to let the vehicle cool its plug-in hybrid system, and the rear design offers enough glass to actually let the driver see out of the back. The interior for the latest version also looks mostly functional this time and is clad in eye-catching orange upholstery.

The XR-PHEV II's powertrain is a bit more mysterious, though. It's a front-wheel drive PHEV that's powered by a 12-kWh battery and offers a total output of 160 horsepower. However, Mitsubishi isn't taking about the internal combustion engine's displacement or the model's transmission.

Still, the company is clear that this look is a glimpse at its future crossovers, and that would be a welcome change. XR-PHEV II's more angular design would certainly liven up Mitsubishi's somewhat staid lineup.