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The updated, 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid SUV has been revealed in its native market of Japan, but its precise Australian launch timing remains a matter of mystery. 

Mitsubishi’s mid-life update for its greenest car includes small changes to the body, chassis and powertrain, along with front, rear and interior styling tweaks. These upgrades are in-line with the mid-life changes to Mitsubishi’s recently released 2016 Outlander petrol and diesel range, which you can read about here.

Further to this, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is said to deliver better hybrid fuel efficiency and acceleration feel and throttle response. Finally, new active safety features – such as a Multi-around View Monitor – which help prevent low-speed parking and traffic accidents will also be introduced.

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Design changes include the brand’s new Dynamic Shield grille, re-jigged bumpers, new 18-inch alloy wheels and more colour choices including Quartz Brown and Ruby Black Pearl. Inside are new trims more seat padding, a new steering wheel design (with heating) and different fascia layout. 

In addition to the 2016 Outlander’s claimed general improvements to NVH, steering, ride and handling, Mitsubishi claims to have increased the fuel efficiency of the plug-in hybrid system by reducing engine friction and overall system optimisation. This represents improved hybrid fuel efficiency of 8.0 per cent, according to the company. 

Meanwhile, improvements to electric motor efficiency have extended the 2016 Outlander PHEV’s all-electric range by 0.6km — better than nothing! — to 60.8km on the Japanese cycle (about 52.6km on the Australian one). Launch feel or acceleration from a standing start and overall throttle response has also apparently improved via revisions to the plug-in hybrid EV and motor control systems.

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There’s also a new Unintentional Move Off Control system, which mitigates impact damage by controlling speed in reverse or forward gear when a driver presses the accelerator by mistake and inadvertently moves toward another vehicle or obstacle.

The current Outlander PHEV has an official factory-claimed fuel consumption figure of 1.9 litres per 100km. It’s unclear if the $47,490 (plus on-road costs) price of the outgoing PHEV will change.

Australian launch timing is still being firmed up. Japan and Europe (edit) will take priority initially. We’ll let you know when we find out more.




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