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.
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.