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Car and Driver: Plugged In: 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Makes Its U.S. Debut

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2017-Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV

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The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV made its U.S. debut today at the 2016 New York auto show, accompanied by a mission statement from Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi North America: “Mitsubishi’s future is crossover utility vehicles and electrified vehicles. Today we are showing the first piece of that plan.” After years of dwindling sales and rumors of leaving the U.S. market entirely, Mitsubishi clearly is hoping it has found a niche that will help raise its stateside profile.

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What Swearingen didn’t mention is that Mitsubishi has been telling us this for a few years now, and has been selling the previous-generation Outlander PHEV in many other parts of the world, to the point that it can boast that the Outlander is “already the top-selling PHEV in Europe.” Now that Mitsubishi has gotten around to giving the model a facelift for 2017, they’ve finally decided that the U.S. is worthy of its hybrid charms.

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The PHEV’s internal-combustion duties are handled by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, which teams with a pair of electric motors separately mounted at the front and rear axles. A specialized version of the Super All-Wheel Control derived from the Lancer Evolution is configured specifically for the twin electric motor setup. Regenerative braking helps to replenish the 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

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The Outlander PHEV offers three drive modes: EV (a full electric mode), series hybrid (electric power with generator operation), and parallel hybrid (engine power and electric motor assistance). The PHEV system automatically selects the most efficient drive mode given the road conditions and other factors.

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Stylistically, the 2017 Outlander PHEV doesn’t deviate from the teaser pics the company shared last week, which is to say it’s a near doppelganger of the non-hybrid 2016 model; early protoypes spotted in the U.S sported some unique badging and, of course, a charging port.

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Mitsubishi points out that many of the latest safety and connectivity features such Forward Collision Mitigation with pedestrian detection capability, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a multi-view view camera, and Apple CarPlay support and Android Auto compatibility will be available. Sadly, many other pertinent details, such as fuel economy, EV range, and price have not yet been released. We should be getting the lowdown on these and other details before the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hits showrooms in the fall of 2016.2016 New York Auto Show Full Coverage

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