Plug-in hybrid technology for all Mitsubishi models
The clever technology – which will debut this year in the firm's Outlander PHEV in April – lets drivers travel for 30 miles at up to legal motorway speeds without using any petrol whatsoever. When the battery has run out the engine seamlessly kicks into life and lets drivers carry on with their journey.
"The average car journey is around 25 miles so owners could potentially never use the fuel in the tank if they charge the car up every night," explained Mitsubishi Motors in the UK boss Lance Bradley. The PHEV can be charged with a normal three-pin plug and costs around £1.40 to recharge.
PHEV models are road tax and congestion charge exempt and while the firm won't reveal prices yet, Mitsubishi promises the cost won't put the technology out of reach of buyers.
Once the Outlander PHEV has bedded in to the UK market, the new ASX crossover will be next to feature the technology. The manufacturer showcased a concept ASX – called the Concept XR-PHEV – at the Geneva Motor Show and Bradley explained this is likely to look very similar to the new model.
"The production model will be very close to this concept," he explained. "Mitsubishi has a history of showing concepts that are very similar to production cars and the next ASX will be very close to that."
He said it would likely feature a 1.1-litre high output, turbo-charged petrol engine coupled with an electric unit, and it is this PHEV powertrain that will be rolled out across the range.
"We're trying to normalise plug-in hybrid technology as much as possible," Bradley said. "We realise that we made mistakes with the iMiEV by selling that in only select dealers – that unfortunately signaled to consumers it was different and unusual.
"With PHEVs we will promote it as a normal choice – it's a car that can do 30 miles without using any petrol and a car that can do a longer drive if they need to as well."
Mitsubishi believes the new range of PHEVs is the start of a renaissance for the brand in the UK and that sales could increase by as many as 10,000 units a year thanks to the new technology.