The big news for buyers around the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander facelift is mainly around the way it looks – but the PHEV plug-in hybrid version is set to adopt a different appearance to the regular models.
Mitsubishi Motors manager of C & D-segment product development project, Takao Matsui, told CarAdvice at the launch of the 2016 Outlander this week that there is an internal desire to make the PHEV model stand out from the heavily revamped range.
“There will be some difference. It’s very difficult to say,” he said. “You will see [later this year].”
When asked if customer demand was part of the reasoning for making the appearance of the plug-in model different, Matsui indicated it was part of the reason.
“We think so as well,” he said.
One of the most notable elements of the Outlander PHEV was that it didn’t look too different to the rest of the range. But it could be that the new-look model will follow a common trend in Japanese vehicles to make the hybrid variant more streamlined.
“That product needs some differentiation,” he said.
Matsui indicated that the changes are unlikely to be major, but there will be a slight focus on improved aerodynamics. However, he suggested that the existing car already had a decent coefficient of drag, but the new version “may be better”.
When asked if there are any major changes expected for the PHEV in terms of range – which is currently claimed at 52 kilometres on EV power alone – Matsui gave little away.
“Now we are looking to enhance,” he said. “But I cannot say.”
No official timing has been announced for the reveal of the MY16 Outlander PHEV, though the company has confirmed it will be on sale locally by late 2015.