Gas Turbine Rears Its Head Again With Mitsubishi PHEV Concept

Mitsubishi will unveil a gas turbine-powered PHEV concept in what must be one of the most bizarre iterations of a hybrid powertrain at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese automaker has said.

The car to make its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show is a compact SUV named MI-TECH Concept. Eschewing the usual gasoline micro engines currently in favor, Mitsubishi’s concept will be powered by a gas turbine generator featuring four electric motors, two on each axle to create the carmaker’s signature 4×4 driveline. Mitsubishi says this will enable both series hybrid modes and fully electric driving, with sufficient torque from the electric motors for both the urban environment and off-road terrain.

Gas turbines have long been a niche feature in the automobile industry but have never caught on largely owing to the requirement for different infrastructure, cost of production and comparative low energy density compared to gasoline – problems similar to hydrogen fuel cell which is struggling to make market inroads.

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