The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) enters 2020 with new standard safety equipment, a restyled dashboard and updated option and trim packages that increase the value, safety and overall aesthetic of the world’s best-selling PHEV.
The Outlander PHEV is a perfect culmination of Mitsubishi’s 100-plus-year history of automotive excellence: over 50 years of electromobility and four-wheel drive technology that goes back to 1937 when the company built Japan’s first four-wheel-drive vehicle, and subsequently honed on the international rally circuit. Featuring a highly efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with two high-performance electric motors, along with Mitsubishi’s advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers SUV capabilities and EV efficiency.
The Outlander PHEV represents a fusion of the EV technologies developed by Mitsubishi for models such as the i-MiEV, a strong understanding of the S-AWC system from the Lancer Evolution, and SUV know-how gained from the Montero.
What’s New for 2020
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV introduces new standard safety equipment and optional luxury upgrades that help elevate the driving experience.
SEL models now feature standard Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Automatic High Beams (AHB). These important safety features provide an extra layer of security when behind the wheel.
Updates for 2020 continue inside with a new eight-inch, second-generation Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) system. The new SDA system features a standard eight-inch touchscreen with redesigned graphics and standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability. Below the new screen, redesigned HVAC knobs take the place of the previous buttons, resulting in more intuitive climate control functionality for drivers and passengers alike.
The driver’s seat on all models now features newly standard power-adjustable lumbar support.
Rear seat passengers also enjoy a new seatback design that improves comfort on longer trips. A second rear USB charging port is also now available on SEL trims.
A new Premium Interior package is available on GT trims for $400, which adds a diamond-quilted leather pattern to the already-sleek interior, lending a more upscale appearance to the 2020 PHEV.
Rounding out interior upgrades, a new Mitsubishi Power Sound System (MPSS) replaces the previous Rockford-Fosgate® audio unit on GT trims. The new sound system consists of eight speakers produces clearer, more natural and more accurate sound throughout the cabin. Moreover, the hatch-mounted subwoofer of the previous system is eliminated, helping to maximize cargo space.
Three Drive System Modes
Thanks to its unique drivetrain, which combines a front electric motor, rear electric motor, and front-mounted gasoline-powered 2.0-liter engine with integrated generator, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is able to operate in one of three unique drivetrain modes for optimal performance and efficiency:
EV Drive Mode (Twin Motor S-AWC EV)
In EV Drive Mode, the vehicle is driven by the two electric motors, with energy being supplied exclusively by the lithium-ion battery pack. With the EV mode button, the driver can select this driving mode when they desire 100% electric-powered, zero-emission driving, for up to 22 miles.
Series Hybrid Mode (Twin Motor S-AWC EV with Internal Combustion Generator)
When the energy level remaining in the lithium-ion battery pack is low, the two electric motors are powered by the battery pack and the gasoline-powered generator.
In this configuration, the gasoline-powered generator helps:
1) Charge the lithium-ion drive battery pack
2) Provide power to the twin electric motors
Parallel Hybrid Mode (Gasoline-Powered Engine Supported by Twin Motor S-AWC)
In this drive mode, the Outlander PHEV uses its full complement of available resources:
1) The 2.0-liter gasoline engine drives the front wheels; the front axle features a built-in clutch that switches the system to Parallel Drive Mode mainly for engine-powered travel at high speeds/steady-state cruise.
2) The two electric motors operate seamlessly when additional power is required, such as driving uphill.
3) The gasoline-powered engine/generator – while operating the vehicle at sufficient speed – will feed any excess energy (electricity) back into the lithium-ion battery pack.
The Parallel Hybrid mode is most commonly engaged when the Outlander PHEV is being driven in a long-haul/high-speed steady-state cruise manner, such as on the open road or interstate, where this drivetrain configuration is most efficient.