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Mitsubishi concept: lithium PHEV/wheel motors: 2008 production possible
Dec 15, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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When I last checked, Mitsubishi was 37% owned by DaimlerChrysler, the only automaker whose Sprinter van prototypes are the only plug-in hybrids from an automaker.­pressrelease/­e/­corporate/­detail1380.html

Mitsubishi Motors to unveil MITSUBISHI Concept-CT MIEV hybrid sport compact and new Eclipse Spyder convertible at 2006 Detroit Motor Show

MITSUBISHI Concept- CT MIEV (Image sketch)

Tokyo, December 05, 2005 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA, based in Cypress, California) will give the MITSUBISHI Concept-CT1 MIEV2 hybrid 4WD sport compact concept, which uses outer rotor type in-wheel motors and a lithium-ion battery system to drive all four wheels, and the new Eclipse Spyder convertible their world premieres at the 2006 North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Motor Show). The show will be held from January 8 to 22 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, and will be open to the general public from January 14.

MITSUBISHI Concept-CT MIEV showcases the company's MIEV concept for next-generation electric vehicles that utilizes in-wheel motors and high energy-density lithium-ion batteries as core technologies. This concept car pairs the MIEV concept with a gasoline engine for series-parallel hybrid propulsion, which delivers higher power and realizes longer cruising ranges, to drive all four wheels.

Created by the Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America, Inc. design studio based in Cypress, California, the MITSUBISHI Concept-CT MIEV sport hatchback is the company's first concept model for the sport compact category that is attracting growing attention in the North American market in recent years.­ar/­auto_mitsubishi_mulls_minicar/­index.htm
Mitsubishi Mulls Minicar for U.S.
By Jim Mateja, Dec 8 2005

Mitsubishi's minicar would not arrive before 2008, but ultimately would feature a gas/electric hybrid powertrain.

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is mulling entering the minicar market in the U.S., challenging models planned by its Japanese rivals.

However, any entry from Mitsubishi probably would not bow until after 2008.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Nissan North America Inc. all will roll out new entry-level models early next year, with the Yaris joining Toyota's lineup and the Fit and Versa bowing in Honda and Nissan showrooms, respectively. (See related story: Toyota Yaris Production for U.S. Starts in February)

Although all three will have at least a 2-year jump, Mitsubishi would try to gain an edge in the market by eventually offering an optional gas/electric hybrid powertrain and fulltime all-wheel drive in its small car.

Unlike today's hybrids, the Mitsubishi would be designed to run on either the gasoline engine or the electric motor separately, as well as, like today's models, use both simultaneously.

Mitsubishi will unveil two cars at the Detroit auto show in January: the '07 Eclipse Spyder, the convertible version of its popular coupe; and the concept CT MIEV, a 4-door, 4-passenger mini that is expected to draw most of the attention. (See related story: Mitsubishi to Unveil Eclipse Spyder in Detroit)

"It's our version of the next stage of hybrid development," Wayne Killan, vice president-marketing for Mitsubishi, says of the concept car.

The CT MIEV is derived from a Mitsubishi Colt, now sold in Japan and potentially aimed at the U.S. market. It comes with a 1.1L, 3-cyl. gasoline engine and features electric motors at all four wheels.

"We decided we would need gas and electric for the U.S. market," Killan says. "With electric motors powering each wheel, it not only can operate as a pure electric, (but) you don't need a conventional transmission and (can) save a lot of space and weight for even better mileage."

In gas mode, the batteries would recharge as the car is driven. In electric-only mode the batteries would have to be recharged by plugging the car into an electrical outlet.

Killan says there is no estimate on driving range in electric mode, but the estimated recharging time would be a scant 10 minutes. He couldn't say, however, whether that would provide a partial or full charge.

"We would expect the car to be used in electric-only mode only in cities, where you could have access to a quick charge," he says.

A third MIEV concept is planned with a hydrogen fuel cell, but there is no word on when that is due.

Killan says the next-generation Colt could serve as Mitsubishi's mini entry in the U.S. But whether the next Colt or a hybrid based on the MIEV is chosen, it won't arrive any time soon.

"It could be five to 10 years from now," he says.

Mitsubishi may bring out a gas-powered mini first and add a gas-electric hybrid later, he says.

"We've talked about six new vehicles in the next three years, and people ask us what about after that, and this car could do," Killan says. "We have enough new product coming through 2008, and this could come after that, and the hybrid would be closer to 2010.

"We feel there is a market for this size vehicle," he adds. "BMW (AG) proved it with the Mini and others such as Yaris and Fit are coming.

"The concept is being tested now in Japan, and we're using the Detroit auto show to get feedback on what U.S. consumers think of the concept."

Killan says it's too early to talk price or sales volume. He also declines to say whether Mitsubishi is talking with Chrysler Group about offering it a version of the small car. Chrysler recently said it is talking with several auto makers about a minicar venture.­news/­mitsubishi-announces-new-eclipse-spyder-and-concept-ct-for-detroit/­1579/­ and­go/­autonews/­mitsubishi_announces_new_eclipse_spyder_and_concept_ct_for_detroit.aspx

Mitsubishi Announces New Eclipse Spyder and Concept CT for Detroit December 6, 2005 by Justin Couture / American Auto Press

Mitsubishi is Pushing Electric Powered Propulsion System and Electric Powered Roof

Earlier this week, Mitsubishi announced that it will be bringing two important cars to the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit, an all-wheel drive sport compact concept as well as the convertible variant of its beautiful Eclipse sports car.

The first, dubbed Concept-CT is a compact, high-performance electric vehicle that uses some of the most advanced technology currently available. It builds off of Mitsubishis MIEV technology that has already been featured in a number of cars including the EVO IX MIEV and Colt MIEV concepts. While under continuous development, Mitsubishi related some of the MIEV systems latest improvements in a pre-show press release. Building off of previous concepts unorthodox all-wheel drive system, which features four in-wheel hub style motors, it will get an improved form of the series-parallel electrical hybrid propulsion system in CT guise, to deliver increased power and an even longer cruising range - the most noted shortcoming of pure electric vehicles.

With talks on hydrogen powered vehicles and gasoline/diesel-electric hybrids, the electric car is a memory thats growing more distant by the day, but its something that the CT aims to reverse with the Californian-designed study. Styled and created specifically with the North American market in mind, the MIEV-powered concept aims to demonstrate that its pure-electric technology can aid in development of future vehicles down the road. Mitsubishi claims that the in-wheel electric motor would be revolutionary to the gasoline-electric hybrid market, making for fewer intrusive structural changes which in-turn would allow for more of its vehicles to be converted into energy-saving hybrids.

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