Mitsubishi in India may be almost forgotten, but start reminiscing as the Japanese brand appeared suddenly in the news for its 2015 Concept GC-PHEV Plug-in Hybrid previewed at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Oh yeah, it is a good contender for the Mars roving mission not just because it looks like one, but it also has extra-ordinary power management and plug-in hybrid techs. By this concept, Mitsubishi asserts that it is still alive in the global scene. In India too it is likely to bring in its Mirage hatch and Attrage Sedan in 2016.
There are some brand we hardly know do they still exist. Can there be any obvious example for such kind in our auto market than Mitsubishi? People may remember this Japanese marque only for its Lancer sedan and Pajero SUV, that too years back. It is hardly known, there is just one model that is currently on sale – Pajero Sport. I have always wondered how can a business survive with just one model, that too little premium and very few buys. How are those showroom dealers actually existing even more?? I thought Mitsubishi is so only in India, but only later I realized that that’s almost the case in U.S and Europe. The brand hardly stands out of the crowd in spite of making some really capable cars.
The Concept GC-PHEV is a full-size crossover concept that demonstrates the design language that is expected for the production-ready cars to come, especially the next-generation Montero. Is it attractive? Honestly, not much to me, but this is how future car designs are to be conceived and we have to respect any such out-of-the-box thinking. Most of the lines and panel designs are unfamiliar, even weird at times. One such case is the missing side mirrors. We could hardly think a big car without them, just because we are used to it.
More important is the plug-in hybrid powertrain. A supercharged 3-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed auto is sandwiched to a 70 kW electric motor powered by a 12-kWh lithium-ion pack. Total output is 355 horsepower, which is carried to all four corners via a full-time AWD. Fuel economy is projected to be 14.88 kmpl — the specific category wasn’t mentioned — and can go up to 25 miles on the pure-electric mode.
Even more interesting is that the battery pack can also act as a mobile power source for our household emergencies. The 100 volt AC on board electrical outlet can deliver external power supply of up to 1500 watts. Using the energy stored within a fully charged lithium-ion battery pack alone, the Concept GC-PHEV can supply the equivalent of a days worth of electrical power consumption to the average household. With a fully charged battery pack and a full tank of gas to recharge the battery when necessary, you can enjoy this privilege for almost 13 days! We need them in India, the land of power failures, isn’t it??
There is a “Tactical Table” console touchscreen that allows smartphones to access its features via wireless induction. Other highlights include an augmented-reality HUD; lane-departure; and adaptive cruise control.
This concept crossover has nothing to do with India. But we can expect Mitsubishi to launch at least two new products next year. The Mirage is a sub-4m hatch to take on the premium hatch segment, while the Attrage is the sedan version from the same platform. A 1.2-litre petrol may come first, and an automatic and diesel versions may follow that. The brand’s Chennai plant is going to be the seat of production. A new dawn awaiting in India for this brand reminding its wonderful cars from past, we have to wait and observe.