The recent changes to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV don’t just give it an updated look both outside and inside, but make improvements to driving performance as well.
Originally, the Outlander was meant to belong to a segment where it would compete against premium makers in Europe. But what would lure drivers away from those premium competitors and make them choose the Outlander? According to Mitsubishi Motors Product Planning Division manager Tetsuya Tobe, “We don’t want our drivers to be disappointed.”
What’s needed to accomplish this, he says, is, “Of course, the interior and exterior have to be good. But we figured we also had to offer outstanding quality.” He further says, “Things like the quiet drive and great handling gave it high ratings.” However, he says they still felt that it was lacking something in the quality of its drive compared to those other makers. “We wanted to make it even better and compete against the plug-in hybrids European makers will release.”
In the end, he says, “Our goal is to make the name Mitsubishi synonymous with the phrase plug-in hybrid. To meet this aim, we want to improve the quality of the drive.”
And how was this accomplished? “Of course, making the drive quiet will do this,” he says. “But even more, we wanted it to have a light, airy drive. I feel like a luxury gasoline or PHEV car loses something in terms of handling. There isn’t enough of that light feeling. They’re a little sluggish.”
Tobe says, “I wanted to convey this feeling, so I asked the developers to create it and they did. I think it worked out really well.”
(Translated by Greg Scott)