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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi has released images and details of its three new Tokyo motor show concepts, including a large plug-in hybrid SUV that previews the new Pajero.

Teased in a design sketch and a shadowy computer-generated image last month, the new GC-PHEV concept images (pictured above and below) give us an insight into the Japanese car maker’s vision for the next-generation Mitsubishi Pajero that’s due to launch in 2014.

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The GC-PHEV teams a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission with a plug-in hybrid system comprising a high-output electric motor and a high-capacity battery to deliver permanent four-wheel-drive performance.

The GC-PHEV name stands for ‘Grand Cruiser Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle’, which Mitsubishi says is intended to create the vision of “an imposing yet eco-friendly vehicle speeding across a vast terrain”.

mitsubishi-xr-phev-concept

A second plug-in, the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV concept (pictured above), is the brand’s take on a new-generation compact SUV, potentially previewing the next Mitsubishi ASX.

The XR-PHEV (for ‘Cross Runner’) is powered by a 1.1-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, a high-efficiency motor and a high-capacity battery.

Mitsubishi says the front-wheel-drive XR-PHEV concept’s name represents its “stylish crossover lines [and] peppy and nimble performance around town”.

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Joining the plug-in duo at Tokyo is the Mitsubishi AR concept (‘Active Runabout’, pictured above), a compact MPV powered by the same 1.1-litre petrol engine and supported by a mild hybrid system.

The trio features Mitsubishi’s latest ‘e-Assist’ active safety suite, which combines adaptive cruise control, forward collision management and lane departure warning, as well as new “connected car” technology that includes a danger detection system to identify malfunctions and failures and prompt the driver to seek maintenance or repair.

The Mitsubishi GC-PHEV, XR-PHEV and AR concepts will debut in Tokyo on November 20.

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