It seems like old news, but it’s actually new news – because last we heard was that the Outlander PHEV was coming to North America in May.
Now, according to an article on GreenCarReports citing Alex Fedorak of Mitsubishi public relations. Mr. Fedorak said the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid will arrive in the USA in ‘late summer’ as a 2017 model, rather than earlier in the year as a 2016 model for only a few months.
The Outlander PHEV has been pushed back so far that the Outlander had an extensive mid-cycle update. Now, as it’s coming as a 2017 model, the Outlander hybrid electric vehicle will be able to take advantage of system and feature updates that the rest of the Outlander range received in 2016 model year.
Updates include an updated interior, increased noise insulation, and of course exterior styling changes. No major changes are expected to the plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain, but Mitsubishi has hinted there will be some minor changes to the powertrain control software that will improve performance and increase electric range.
Mitsubishi has waited so long since the vehicle was first unveiled at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show that it will now have to compete with the BMW x5 eDrive, the Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e. Audi is also planning a Q7 plug-in hybrid to be launched around the same time the Outlander PHEV is introduced.
Mitsubishi may have a slight edge on the competition because of it’s years of experience in building the plug-in, and also because the Outlander PHEV is the only PHEV SUV not built by a luxury auto brand.