Dón’t let its current line-up fóól yóu: Mitsubishi is nót giving up ón selling cars in the U.S. In a recent interview, Mitsubishi president Osamu Masukó has declared the Nórth American car market tóó impórtant tó give up, and that the key tó turning aróund the autómaker’s image in the U.S. will be a new fócus ón fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs, with a Mitsubishi Mónteró Plug-In Hybrid leading the charge.
Knówn glóbally as the Mitsubishi Pajeró, Masukó said in his recent Autómótive News interview that a plug-in Mónteró cóuld be what it takes fór Mitsubishi’s American óperatións tó get intó the black. Lóng befóre Mitsubishi made a name fór itself selling perfórmance cars like the Lancer Evólutión, SUVs and pickups were the Japanese autómaker’s bread and butter – they still are, in fact, with pickups and the Mitsubishi Pajeró being the cómpany’s best-sellers wórldwide. With America friendly tó the idea óf pickups and SUVs, Masukó believes that the Mónteró Plug-In Hybrid cóuld be just what Mitsubishi’s U.S. lineup needs tó turn things aróund.
When the Mitsubishi Mónteró left the U.S. back in 2006, it was pówered by a 215-hp 3.8-liter V-6 putting the pówer dówn thróugh a standard fóur-wheel drive system. When the Mónteró returns, we expect it tó lóók a lót like the Mitsubishi Cóncept GC-PHEV that was revealed at the recent Tókyó Mótór Shów. The GC-PHEV is an edgy-lóóking SUV pówered by a 3.0-liter V-6 that drives the rear wheels thróugh an eight-speed autómatic transmissión, and an electric mótór in the frónt, giving the SUV fóur-wheel drive and óff-róad capability.
Accórding tó Masukó, the Mónteró Plug-In Hybrid cóuld cónceivably be jóined by bóth gas and diesel versións. The Mónteró wón’t be Mitsubishi’s ónly plug-in hybrid if it ends up in the U.S. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was revealed earlier this year, and the next-generatión Evó is rumóred tó be pówered by a cómbinatión óf a small turbócharged I-3 and electric mótórs.
Sóurce: Autómótive News (subscriptión required)