Mitsubishi has stopped the teasing and finally unveiled the e-Evolution Concept ahead of its public debut at the Tokyo motor show.
The concept is the latest in a string of Mitsubishi show cars, designed to preview the design language that will feature on its upcoming four-wheel drives and people movers.
While the Evolution name might conjure images of turbocharged rally cars and massive rear spoilers, but this latest iteration takes things in a very different direction. As the ‘e’ in the name suggests, it’s fully electric, with power from a high-capacity battery stowed under the floor.
It’s mounted in the centre of the chassis for optimal weight distribution, and feeds a trio of electric motors. There are two motors on the rear axle, capable of smart torque vectoring through a system dubbed 'Dual Motor Active Yaw Control', with a third motor on the front axle for better grip in slippery conditions.
Coupled with its existing Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) four-wheel drive system, Mitsubishi says the setup delivers a nimble feeling at any speed. The motors are also described as "torqueful" in the press release, which should make for a 'funful' drive and 'fastful' acceleration.
Along with the clever torque-vectoring four-wheel drive system, the e-Evolution debuts electric brake calipers, which supersede hydraulic calipers. Mitsubishi doesn’t actually say what the effects of the swap are, but they can reportedly be “appreciated immediately, even at low speeds when G-forces are low”.
In keeping with the theme set by other concepts from the Tokyo motor show this year, including the Lexus LS+ and Toyota Concept-i, the e-Evolution comes with artificial intelligence (AI) software on board.
A suite of sensors scattered around the (distinctive) body are constantly reading the road and what the driver looks like doing, allowing it to build a “training program” that talks the pilot through ways to become a better driver. If you thought passengers telling you to slow down was annoying, wait until the car joins in…
From the outside, Mitsubishi says the e-Evolution offers a fresh take on its Dynamic Shield design ethos. The black grille is actually hidden beneath a glass panel for better aerodynamics, while the big air intakes under the headlamps cool the electric brake calipers.
Also hidden beneath the glass grille cover is the requisite sensor array, highlighted with blue LED lighting.
The rear of the car has been designed to evoke the Pajero with its hexagonal shape and short overhangs, the latter of which helps improve departure angles off road. With big wheels pushed right out the corners of the body and a strong shoulder line, it looks ready for action – though we wouldn't go so far as to call it pretty.
With no internal combustion engine taking up space, the interior designers have been able to open the cabin up. The instrument panel is designed to 'float' in front of the driver, and there's a widescreen display integrated into the dashboard.
With big windows all round, Mitsubishi says drivers should have "unobstructed" visibility from every direction.
The e-Evolution is just a concept at the moment, but expect elements of its design to appear in future Mitsubishi production vehicles. The company is planning a product onslaught between now and 2020, with six new models on the way.