- The Mitsubishi Mi-Tech off-road buggy concept is a plug-in hybrid with a range-extending gas-turbine engine.
- The concept features an augmented reality head-up display as well as Mitsubishi's Mi-Pilot driver-assist technology, which even works off-road.
- Its technology is somewhat unusual, including electric brake calipers and the ability to run on kerosene or alcohol.
If you want a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. market, Mitsubishi only offers one, the Outlander PHEV. But at the Tokyo auto show, Mitsubishi CEO Takao Kato restated the brand's dedication to PHEVs, and this Mi-Tech concept buggy is the proof that it's thinking outside the box when it comes to hybrid technology. The Mi-Tech is powered by a plug-in-hybrid electric powertrain with a four-motor electric AWD system, and it has a gas-turbine engine that can run on a variety of fuels, including diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.
About that styling: Mitsubishi says the Mi-Tech expresses "the very essence of Mitsubishi-ness." We agree. It certainly reminds us of a few other wild open-top Mitsubishi concepts of years past. The front end embraces Mitsubishi's new Dynamic Shield front-end design, featuring a satin-plated grille with copper inserts and T-shaped headlights. The roof and doors are missing, underlining the intention to think of this concept as an off-roader.
Mitsubishi's S-AWC Integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System is applied to a quad-motor AWD System with front and rear dual-motor active yaw control. The brake calipers are electric, which helps the Mi-Tech take 180-degree turns by counterrotating the left and right tires. When the batteries die, the turbine engine charges them back up. A turbine engine sounds insane, but it definitely has its benefits. It can run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, kerosene, and alcohol, and the effect is, Mitsubishi claims, a cleaner exhaust compared with a traditional internal-combustion engine.
The inside is dominated by an augmented-reality head-up display that shows vehicle, road, and traffic conditions using a human-machine interface to display information via sensing technology. The Mi-Pilot's driver-assist technology that is still helpful on unpaved roads, according to Mitsubishi.
Don't expect anything like this wacky off-roader to go into production; anyway, we can't see it being able to keep up with popular removable-door terrain conquerors such as the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, or even the revived Ford Bronco when it comes out. We'll just have to sit behind a screen and have googly eyes for it.
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