Mitsubishi Micro PHEV Concept Joins Urban EV Rush

Mitsubishi is joining the rush towards micro-electrified cars for the city environment but shunning BEV in favor of its successful PHEV powertrains.

Its latest small PHEV concept will make its world debut at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019 next month and the carmaker has announced its vehicle by releasing a detail picture that looks like cooling and ventilation fans. The vehicle will use Mitsubishi’s proven PHEV system and employ all-wheel drive.

In a statement the company said: “Under the concept of ‘An electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind’, MMC will propose new values which combine SUV, PHEV and 4WD: The car will have a downsized, lower-weight Plug-in Hybrid EV (PHEV) drivetrain, as well as an electric 4WD system.”

It’s clear the downsizing of the brand’s key USPs is as much a marketing exercise as it is a serious proposition to target 4WD to an urban environment particularly when environmentalists point to tire scrub and brake dust as contributing more to city pollution than exhaust emissions.

That said, the carmaker does make great play over the vehicle’s ability to cope with rough road surfaces, a positive boon in many cash-strapped cities around the world which currently suffer from crumbling infrastructure.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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