Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Survives Rough Road Rally

Have you ever wondered if low carbon vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids, can handle the same off-road conditions as regular gas engine offerings? That’s something Mitsubishi Motors recently answered with a big yes, after one of its pre-production Outlander PHEVs finished a tough cross country race.

Mitsubishi said its Outlander PHEV was entered in the 2013 Asia Cross Country Rally (or “AXCR”) which took place August 10th – 16th between Thailand and Laos. This race is described as a Dakar-type of extreme cross country rallying, covering over 2,000 km on various road surfaces and conditions including mountain roads, muddy jungle and river crossings over the course of six days.

image via Mitsubishi Motors

image via Mitsubishi Motors

Competing against mostly heavy-duty, diesel-powered pickup trucks, the plug-in hybrid was one of 20 entries in the four wheeled category. Entered by a private team (“Two and Four Motor Sports”), noted Mitsubishi Motors, the sole Outlander PHEV

finished 17th overall with no failure: quite a success for what was essentially a standard car – including the Twin Motor 4WD plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain, as well as the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system – the only modifications being the regular cross-country racing routine of upgraded shock absorbers and springs, roll cage, under floor protection, exhaust and snorkel duct, etc.

The auto manufacturer backed the team driving the car. As for when Americans might be able to get hold of a regular version, recent reports suggest it will be at least a year from now, if ever.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

  • Paul Bartoletti

    You may be able to bash it around for awhile but it won’t hold together over time.

    It will leave you unimpressed over the long term. What will impress is the excessive cost of maintenance. Why would anybody want to
    buy such a poorly engineered car from Mitsubishi? They are not serviceable except at the dealer. They deliberately design in the need for special tools to remove components. Things like heater cores removal require the entire interior to be
    removed to get the part out. The dash board falls apart and then the dealer wants $2300 for parts and labor to repair. Point is – the vehicle is beyond economical repair. Maybe most people have already figured this out and that is why Mitsubishi sales are in the toilet. Don’t buy any Mitsubishi product until they improve their engineering practices.
    Last person out – turn out the lights.
    RIP Mitsubishi.

  • SierraM363

    I hope Mitsu survives until they bring this thing over.