Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In US Launch Planned For May

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

After a very long wait, the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid is now set to hit the US market in the near future — with the targeted release date being sometime as early as May 2016, reportedly.

It’s a bit hard to explain the reasoning behind the long wait to introduce the model in the US — the only credible explanation (to my ears) being that there were supply constraints, so better to focus on the European and Asian markets, rather than potentially spread out too thinly. However, there’s also word that Mitsubishi was for a while on the verge of pulling out of the US entirely. Who knows — but the electric SUV field in the US is now home to a number of offerings, so the company might have missed its chance.

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug In Netherlands 11

Gas 2 provides more:

Building further on its reputation for building good 4-wheel drive vehicles, it will introduce an all-new crossover in 2017 that is intended to fill the gap between the compact Outlander Sport and the mid-size Outlander. The new offering will feature coupe styling, as it is now all the rage to build SUVs that are as small as possible inside and out. That makes no sense, of course, but that’s what customers say they want.

Mitsubishi says it will introduce a redesigned Outlander in 2018 and a new Outlander Sport in 2019. The all-new crossover and the Outlander will offer customers a choice of conventional or plug-in hybrid powertrains. The new Outlander Sport will have an all-electric option, the company says. The woeful i-MiEV electric sedan will continue on with no changes. It is presently selling at the dismal rate of only 10 cars a month.

I honestly don’t know what to make of the choices being made by many established auto manufacturers with regard to electric vehicles — the companies seem to be taking everything absolutely as slowly as they can in this regard, leaving themselves open to outsiders like Tesla, Faraday Future, Apple, and others. Seems a strange choice to make, as change is quite definitely coming to the industry over the next decade or two.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

12 thoughts on “Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In US Launch Planned For May

  • Mitsubishi had an awesome problem. They tooled up to make 10k plug in outlanders a year. Then they put them on sale and sold out in three months. So they started running their factories they had tooling for around the clock, figuring this was just an initial surge in demand, and it would quiet down any minute now, which by the way is a pretty decent assumption. The Volt failed to sell 10k copies its first year after all…

    Well, it seems they tooled up more for the next iteration, and can now sell a bunch of cars to us poor north americans.

    They get a bunch of flak, but having a good car oversell your expectations is rare, and these new markets are hard to judge.

  • The reason Mitsubishi might be thinking of pulling out of the US market is their quality is bad, has been bad for years, and no one in the US wants to buy them. Europeans seem a lot less concerned with quality, or maybe they don’t have Consumer Reports to keep them informed.

    I ignored CR when I got my Mitsubishi and earlier my VW. No longer. If CR says in 4 years you’re going to need a new framistan for $1500 then in 3 years and 11 months you’d better have $1500 for a new framistan.

    The comment about keeping up with Faraday Future or Apple makes no sense. Anyone seen an Apple or FF car?

    As for keeping up with Tesla, that also makes no sense. It’s like saying “why can’t GM build a Porsche 911?” Easy, because Porsche builds a Porsche 911. Is the hope that everyone will enter the same *small* upscale market to take market share away from Tesla so they go bankrupt? Or is it to have everyone try but *fail* to take market share away from Tesla, thereby proving what everyone here already believes – namely that Tesla is “way cool, dude” and Musk is a god whose every tweet must be obsequiously reported?

    • The brands with the worst quality according to consumer reports… Jeep, chrapsler, fiat… Are quite popular. Other low quality brands like f.o.r.d. And garbage motors are popular too so i really dont think that quality has anything to do with it. That said, we might agree that mitsus days are numbered in northam. Their dealers, the ones that remain, are primarily used car lots.

      • Fiat does not make it in the list of top 20 selling cars, Chrysler barely makes it at #20.

        Counting top 20 vehicles (including trucks and SUVs) Jeep is nowhere to be found.

        People do read CR and it shows in what sells. There are always some who don’t think it matters all that much (like me a long while ago) but after a few too many visits to the repair shop, while your work buddies brag their Civic or Camry has 200K miles and only oil changes, people wise up.

        • I go by what i see in real life. I pass many, many jeeps every day. The last time i saw an outlander in the road other than the one i took home for the night, was in august of this year. It is now december. That is the truth.
          I would like very much to buy a jeep. The wrangler looks like the cure to the midlife crisis that ills me and the grand Cherokee srt looks like the trail capable suv with the speed that i need the get around all the non-drivers. Problem is they are junk and overpriced junk at that.

      • A lot of people get sucked in by the Jeep advertizing.

        Reliable Honda stopped making the NSX a long time ago. Now Hyundai has the role of producing quality cars for a reasonable price.


    • While Tesla worship has admittedly gotten a bit out of control, I think you are being a little harsh here.
      “Keeping up with Tesla” has a legitimate meaning. They are approximately one year away, in all probability, of making a car with 200 mile range or better, for $35k-$40k (minus $7.5k). This would be an achievement, and there is a good chance that they will sell a lot of them. They are also gearing up to be able to sell up to 500,000 batteries a year for these cars, or others like them, by 2020. The Gigafactory is no joke.
      When Tesla, and others like LG make these batteries, it is unclear that GM will be able to get their share of them, when every other auto manufacturer will want them as well. This could be a serious problem for them.
      So “keeping up with Tesla” does make sense. Tesla is working relentlessly toward the ability to sell affordable EVs in volume. As best I can tell, no one else is.

      • LG Chem supposedly has 20 EV manufacturers looking to them for batteries.
        This may not be a big problem for GM as LG is aiming for enough batteries for 450,000 EVs a year by 2020 with the current existing and under constructed battery factories. GM could get a large share since most other companies are just diddling along with compliance EVs. And LG can build more factories before 2020 if the need arises.

        Assume GM releases the Bolt next year and quickly gets orders for the 30k cars they intend to build the next year. That might trigger LG to start another factory long before GM gets to 200k EVs a year.

        Brands other than Tesla will get their share of worship when they earn it. Nissan is a lesser god to me, but it’s part of the deity. Sort of Ganesh to Tesla’s Shiva. ;o)

      • As for making 200 mile EVs, GM will and Nissan will. I despise German cars (having owned one and a German motorcycle) so I have no idea what they are doing but I hear rumbles of e-Golf and other sorts of things.

        As for EVs, all I hear is “real soon now” and “everyone will buy them”. I have heard that before and before, and before and I do not see them on the roads and I do not see any shortages of current EVs in dealers lots. This argument will have some credibility when affordable 200 mile EVs are on the market.

        There are inherent problems with pure EVs because of their very, very low energy density in terms of volume and weight compared to virtually every other fuel. This will inhibit their taking away any market share in the truck, mini-van and SUV markets which is where most customers are going. The more I read about alternative energy vehicles, the more convinced I am that an EV-FC hybrid (like the Volt) is the car of the future.

        Being like Tesla is a choice not every manufacturer wants to make. Until the dust settles and we really know what customers will buy, it is a very good thing manufacturer’s are not all betting on the same horse.

  • Timing is everything!!!
    A year ago, i would have bought one of these. Shortly before the VW scandal, i was inches away from buying diesel sportwagon but decided on an outlander gt instead. The dealer wouldnt budge on the sticker, instead wanting to sell me a NEW gt that had been sitting on the lot for over a year. I passed expecting a phone call later on to get me back in there. Just last week, i learned my local mitsu dealer is gone. Out of business!
    With dollar-something gas, narrowly escaping the vw scandal and ending up with an Outlander i would never be able to get rid of, i really lucked out from making a disasterously poor buying decision. Timing is everything!

  • I’m confused by the comment “but the electric SUV field in the US is now home to a number of offerings, so the company might have missed its chance.”.

    As far as I can tell the Model X is the only model actually entering production and even still, we are talking very few units for the foreseeable future. I think the Outlander PHEV will be well received but unfortunately will also not sell that many units in the grand scheme of things.

  • I have owned this vehicle since 1 July 2015 (same colour as photo) and I can say without equivocation that the quality of the vehicle is very good by comparison to other recent vehicles I have owned (i.e. Ford, Chrysler). I also owned a Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo back in my younger days and I never had any major problems in the 11 or so years I owned it.

    The only complaint I have with the current Outlander build is that it only comes with a 12KW battery, which only provides about 50Km of EV range. This might be perfect for most but a 75-80Km range would have been much better for us and would have provided almost 100% EV for all our general around town requirements. However, and as I had estimated (and I am well and truly on track) we will save about $3,000 p.a. in fuel savings with this vehicle (Aussies are paying an average of about $1.20/L (~$4.50/USgal) at the moment). Its costing me about $40-45/mth in electricity charges for probably 90% of all our commutes but has the on-board generator and 2 litre motor to provide additional torque and range extension when needed.

    It must be remembered that the Outlander is built as a 4 wheel drive, and as such, and with 2 electric motors is typically much heavier than most current EVs. But then it has the added advantage of being able to tow just about anything you might want to reasonably tow so I believe it should be worthy of consideration by our American cousins. I hope this helps ….

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