Mitsubishi debuts Outlander PHEV in theatrical fashion
New York — Mitsubishi Motors brought a bit of Broadway to the New York auto show.
The Japanese automaker debuted its 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on Thursday with the help of three actors, a red curtain and a playbill for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that will arrive in U.S. dealerships this fall.
“You know what I love about the city? Getting out of the city,” said one actor prior to the vehicle’s unveiling. “I love taking the family on escape drives to places like New England, but my wife, she says, with all the driving we do we should get an electric … from what she tells me there’s this new Outlander plug-in hybrid something or other coming out, she’s convinced it’s the best of both worlds (fuel economy and performance). Me? I can’t wait to see it.”
An efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine and two high-performance electric motors power the new plug-in. It also features a “Super All-Wheel Control” system. The compact SUV features the same styling as its traditional combustion engine counterpart.
Fuel economy, pricing and other details for the U.S.-bound vehicle, which is on sale in Japan and Europe, were not announced.
The introduction of vehicle is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to re-establish itself in the United States, despite Mitsubishi shuttering its sole U.S. assembly plant in 2015.
“We’ve faced our fair share of challenges these past few years but we keep coming back stronger than ever,” said Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President Don Swearingen during the unveiling. “You can see it in the sales performance of our vehicles, you can see it in the strength of our new product, the growth of our brand awareness and you can see it in increased showroom traffic: momentum.”
Mitsubishi has recorded three consecutive years of growing U.S. sales and plans to top 100,000 units this year, however, it is far from its heydays in the early 2000s.
After record sales of nearly 350,000 in 2002, Mitsubishi experienced four years of heavy sales declines in the U.S. from which it is yet to recover.