2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, image courtesy of Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Releases Special 40th Anniversary Outlander PHEV

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Here at CleanTechnica, we’re into BEVs. Make all of the miles electric, and you don’t have to worry about whether people will plug it in or not. With a BEV, you either plug it in or you don’t drive. We’re also not into hydrogen cars much, either. The problems with exploding fuel stations aside, there’s just too much energy wasted if the hydrogen comes from renewables, but it’s probably not going to come from renewables.

But, we’re not utter zealots. There are situations where something other than batteries and motors are needed. For hydrogen, it probably has a role in aviation because it has more energy density, and perhaps some other industries. There are also important questions about EV affordability, battery supply chains, and geopolitics that could mean plugin hybrids also have a place in the market, at least for now.

Plus, some manufacturers just aren’t doing much with EVs yet, so it’s good to see them at least getting part-way there, right?

That’s pretty much where things are with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Would it be better if it were a BEV? Sure. But, many families who need its seven seats can’t afford to buy something like a Rivian R1S or a Tesla Model X. If there’s something on the market starting under $40,000 with at least enough electric range for local drives, that’s a lot better than burning fossil fuels for every drive.

I know some people will still be like, “Let them eat cake.” when I talk about affordability, but we can’t all be wealthy. So, as a big fan of affordable electric vehicles, I was a little excited to see Mitsubishi put out a press release trying to get people excited about its PHEV. In honor of its four decades in the United States, the brand has developed special Anniversary Editions for two vehicles: the top-selling Outlander and newly launched PHEV. These editions boast a unique paint scheme, exclusive badging, and premium accessories.

Step up your game with the 40th Anniversary Outlander! This special edition model comes standard with “Super All-wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system, a power panoramic sunroof, Bose Premium sound system, and 10.8 inch Head Up Display.” Inside you’ll find luxurious quilted leather door inserts in both black and saddle tan, along with semi aniline leather appointed seating surfaces for optimal comfort. And to top it off, this limited edition sports its own unique Black Diamond & Bronze two-tone paint scheme plus exclusive 40th anniversary badges.

“Throughout the past 40 years, Mitsubishi has earned a reputation in this country for reliable, capable, and convenient vehicles that offer great value, winning the loyalty of many repeat customers,” said MMNA President and CEO, Mark Chaffin. “Our 40th Anniversary Special Edition Outlander and Outlander PHEV are more than just a celebration of that brand heritage, they are a powerful step forward into our next 40 years of success in the U.S.”

40th Anniversary vehicles come with all Outlander SEL Premium Package equipment, plus:

  • Black Diamond Paint w/ unique Bronze Roof
  • Unique 40th Anniversary Badges
  • Dynamic Shield Illumination
  • Door Scuff Plates
  • Metal Cargo Scuff Plates
  • Center Console Illumination
  • Chrome Outlander Hood Emblem
  • Rear Bumper Protector

As the company looks forward to the next 40 years in the US and beyond, momentum is already building behind MMNA with its brand-new North American headquarters opening, an all-new or significantly refreshed lineup of vehicles highlighted by the 2022 Outlander and 2023 Outlander PHEV, a robust and growing dealer partner network, and record-breaking sales success.

Looking ahead to the next four decades in both America and overseas, MMNA is already experiencing a tremendous push forward with its new North American headquarters opening, an entirely reworked vehicle lineup including Outlander 2022 and 2023 PHEV versions, and rapid expansion of their dealership network. The company says it has also seen unprecedented sales performance.

Long before 1981, Mitsubishi Motors already sold vehicles in the US, but under Chrysler Corporation’s label. This changed when Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America was founded in Fountain Valley, California, that year. The new company had a dealer network consisting of 70 facilities across the country ready to provide customers with exceptional cars adorned with its own branding and logo.

In 1986, the company relocated its headquarters to Cypress, California, a then-rural area. This multi-acre space was home to all sales and marketing activities as well as planning and logistics operations, design, research and development efforts, parts operations, and regional functions.

MMNA’s latest groundbreaking decision was to move its headquarters from Cypress, California, to Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville in mid-2019 as part of a company-wide rebranding. The brand new North American HQ opened in April 2020 and even amid the pandemic MMNA welcomed over 150 fresh employees. Through its Small Batch – Big Impact programs and employee volunteering, MMNA has offered vital support to its new hometown during the pandemic. Additionally, at the time of their move, more than 5.5 million vehicles were sold in America by way of MMNA’s 330+ dealer partners scattered across the country.

It has been the lifelong mission of Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) to craft, engineer and promote vehicles that boast impressive value, safety features, design excellence and pride for its owners. As consumer desires have shifted in the past 40 years, MMNA has weathered both successful moments and more challenging ones. Even when faced with Covid-19 supply chain issues last year, MMNA sales stayed sturdy. Now its stated goal is to work toward a bright future as it embarks on its next four decades of eye-catching designs that also deliver an unforgettable driving experience.

One thing we hope to see as it works toward the future is more EVs. An alliance with other manufacturers is aiming toward that goal, and it has released several EV concepts, including an electric compact crossover that it aims to sell in 2026. Like other Japanese manufacturers, movement toward EVs has been slow, but unlike Honda, Mitsubishi isn’t trying to buy its way into the EV market via badge engineering with more established players.

The real question now is whether “toe dipping” strategies like releasing plugin hybrids will be a good gateway into EV sales.

Featured image by Mitsubishi.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1953 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba