Mitsubishi's MI-Tech Concept unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show looks futuristic and intends to provide us with an image of the brand's future.
Chances are we won’t see a plug-in hybrid buggy in Mitsubishi dealerships any time soon, but the electrified powertrain of this playful concept and some design elements might very well make it to its future production models.
Actually, Mitsubishi COO Ashwani Gupta said the company plans to employ any of its electrification technologies to new midsize and compact SUVs by 2022 as well as a Kei car in the near future. The PHEV drivetrain fitted to the MI-Tech Concept could eventually find its way into a small SUV.
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The new concept t is quite sophisticated under the skin. It packs a new PHEV drivetrain, a four-motor electric 4WD system, and advanced driver assist and preventive safety technologies.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the study is that the power generator in the PHEV drivetrain is a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator in place of the traditional gasoline engine. Said to have "a powerful output for its size and weight," it can run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, kerosene and alcohol. Furthermore, according to Mitsubishi, it has a “clean” exhaust.
The MI-Tech Concept also packs a Quad Motor 4WD System with front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control. Even the brake calipers are electric, which Mitsubishi says it allows for "high response, high accuracy control of drive and braking force of the four wheels." The S-AWC Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System ensures the ability to transmit the optimal driving force to each wheel and also makes 180-degree spins possible by counter-rotating the left and right tires.
Advanced technology present onboard includes a Human Machine Interface that displays vehicle, road, and surrounding traffic conditions on an augmented reality windshield. There’s also the MI-Pilot next-generation driver assistance technology, which offers support not only on freeways and regular roads, but also on unpaved roads.
As for the styling, the MI-Tech Concept looks like a combination between a buggy without doors or a roof and an SUV, given the raised ride height, massive wheels, bulky body cladding and skid plates. The Dynamic Shield front design concept is updated with T-shaped headlights echoed at the rear by the taillights which have a similar shape. Other striking details include the light blue body color and the copper accents in a motor coil motif on the grille, inner wheels, and interior.
Speaking of the cabin, it adopts a minimalist look with a horizontal instrument panel, keyboard-shaped switches at the center of the dash and a front handgrip which also functions as a hand pad to make the switches easy to operate. The sports steering wheel and sleek transmission lever feature copper accents that make the connection to the exterior and remind of the car’s electrified nature.