Outlander PHEV Concept-S Plug-In Hybrid Electric SUV [VIDEO]

Mitsubishi has introduced the Outlander PHEV Concept-S this week at the Paris Motor Show.

Likely previewing an upcoming facelift for the mid-size SUV, the concept adopts a fresh front fascia with an "X" layout and chrome accents along with LED headlights & fog lights. There's also a different grille while on the inside it has a black & burgundy color scheme with a black wood grain trim with silver accents. The center console has been designed with influences from the Japanese traditional black lacquered boxes and the cabin also comes with hand-stitched soft leather upholstery.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S is 4760mm long, 1840mm wide, 1700mm tall and has a wheelbase that spans at 2670mm. Power is provided by a plug-in hybrid system encompassing a four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine teamed up with two electric motors and a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Just like the production Outlander PHEV, the concept can provide a total range of 547 miles (880 km) and working solely on electric power it will do 34 miles (55 km) before running out of juice. When used as a hybrid, the vehicle is capable of returning an outstanding 143.5 mpg US (172.3 mpg UK or 1.6 liters / 100 km).

Tesla to unveil Model 3 and Model S Dual Drive Oct. 9: report

Tesla Motors will unveil its Model 3, the mass-market car, and new versions of the Model S sedan at the event Oct. 9, analyst Trip Chowdhry with Global Equities Research said in a note Friday.

It is no coincidence the event is to take place in the Los Angeles area rather the San Francisco Bay Area, where the electric-car maker is headquartered: Tesla's top designer "spends almost 90% of this time in the LA Design Center," Chowdhry said.

Tesla earlier Friday said the event was scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hawthorne airport. By showing a Model 3 prototype Tesla is also hoping to garner more attention from potential "gigafactory" investors, he added.

The new Model S versions would have all-wheel drive and semi-autonomous driver-assistance system.

German scientists invent award winning 2-in-1 motor for electric cars

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have invented a 2-in-1 electric motor which increases the range of electric vehicles.

This innovative engine integrates the traditional electric motor with the air-con compressor, typically two separate units. This novel, space-saving design allows the use of bigger batteries, which can increase the range of electric vehicles by an additional 15 to 20 per cent.

Prof Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), said: “The biggest challenge with electric cars in tropical megacities is the range that they can travel on a full-charge, because their batteries are needed to power both the engine and the air-conditioning. In tropical countries like Singapore, up to half the battery’s capacity is used to power the air-conditioning system.”

The new 2-in-1 design allows the electric motor to be more efficient in powering the car’s wheels, while its integrated air-con compressor uses less power due to synergy between the engine and the compressor, which can also tap on energy regenerated directly from the car’s brakes.

With the potential boost in range through the efficient use of energy, the joint invention recently won the Best Originality Award in the TECO Green Tech International Contest held in Taiwan.

The competition saw 19 entries from top universities including Boston University, University of California (UCLA), Waseda University, and universities from China and Russia.

NTU’s partner, DLR, the German aerospace and space agency will conduct further tests and improvements to the new engine with the aim of eventual commercialisation. The team is applying for a Proof-Of-Concept (POC) grant in Singapore. After the development of the prototype, test bedding and refinements will be done at DLR’s facilities in Germany.

Prof Mhaisalkar, said this innovation will pave the way for extending the range of electric cars, as the integrated design combines the two of the most important parts of an electric car, thus reducing its complexity into one highly efficient solution.

“With the global population of electric vehicles set grow rapidly to 20 million in 2020, a more efficient electric motor cum air-con compressor, will enable cars to travel further on a single charge,” added Prof Mhaisalkar. “This energy efficiency will in turn reduce overall greenhouse emissions and promote sustainable transportation solutions.”

“This integrated design solution for air conditioning will go a long way in reducing the range anxiety of drivers, reduce maintenance costs, and will save time and money for the driver.”

For the automobile manufacturers, the new electric motor will also cost less to produce, as it requires less material than its counterparts. Both the weight and size of the electric motor are reduced, creating more space for other components such as an auxiliary battery source.

Dr Michael Schier, from DLR’s Institute of Vehicle Concepts, said: “For electric vehicles, the air conditioning uses a lot of electrical energy, thereby cutting down the range of electric cars by up to 50 per cent. To increase the energy efficiency and therefore the range of electric cars, the thermal management and the integration of additional functions into existing powertrain components play a major role.”

“By integrating the refrigerant compressor directly into the electric motor, we save components, weight and cost. Simultaneously, the more regenerative braking part of the kinetic energy is passed directly to the refrigerant compressor and thus the efficiency is further increased,” added Dr Schier.

Research scholar Mr Satheesh Kumar from the Energy Research Institute @ NTU said his award-winning, integrated electric motor challenges conventional design that goes way back to the 1960s when air-conditioning first became popular.

“Back then, air-conditioning was something new that was an add-on feature to a car’s combustion engine,” said the 29-year-old Singaporean.

“Since we are now designing electric vehicles from scratch, I see no reason why we should keep both units separate. As we have proven, combining the two gives us synergy – a more efficient use of electricity and it also improves engine braking, which stops the car faster with lesser wear on the brake pads.”​

This research is part of NTU’s focus on sustainability research. Sustainable Earth and Innovation are two of NTU’s Five Peaks of Excellence, which are areas of research that the university hopes to make its global mark in. The other three peaks are Future Healthcare, New Media, and the Best of East and West.

Camouflaged 2016 Chevy Volt shots released by GM

The styling of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is one of the automotive world’s best-kept secrets. Keeping customers and media eager to see the successor to the groundbreaking original at bay until the new Volt debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January is tricky business.

First, it is engineers, not designers, who are charged with creating camouflage that balances styling secrecy with the need to validate the Volt and its systems in public.

“If it were up to me it would be a shoebox driving down the road,” said Lionel Perkins, GM camouflage engineer. “The design team wants us to cover more of the vehicle and the engineering team needs to have enough of the vehicle’s weight and aero exposed so that the tests in the development process are consistent with the product that will come to market.”

The engineers responsible for the “cool” designs covering the car might deserve style points but their efforts are intended strictly to hide the metal beneath.

The camouflage package on the next-generation Volt was started six months in advance of early development. Every vehicle is different and tricks are constantly updated to keep spy photographers and the curious guessing.

“Each car is unique. We are like a dress maker, and the car is our model,” said Perkins. “No two models are the same. We need to make the right dress that fits the body we are dealing with.”

Mitsubishi to reveal Outlander PHEV Concept-S in Paris

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will present the world debut of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The Outlander PHEV Concept-S is a concept model based on the Outlander PHEV 4WD SUV plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The Outlander PHEV Concept-S is a concept model presenting a special design package for the production Outlander PHEV. The exterior and interior design are created under "Sporty and Sophisticated" design theme. The design expresses driving pleasure by delivering powerful and agile driving performance as well as quiet, advanced and high quality driving performance provided by its Twin Motor 4WD and Plug-in Hybrid EV System.

(1) Exterior
Meant to symbolize the functionality and reassuring safety inherent to Mitsubishi Motors' SUVs, the front end design shields the Three-Diamond mark with bold chromed accent moldings on either side - a three dimensional effect - in a further suggestion of motion. Wraparound headlamps contribute themselves to a sense of dynamism sweeping gently up and outwards. This "protective theme" continues at the rear where similar symbolic chrome accents – topped by elongated combination lamps - run from tailgate to wings meant to express dynamic and innovative styling as if bracing the vehicle for better safety. The body color uses a brilliant "Platinum White" with glass flake finish.

(2) Interior
Contrary to the sparkling exterior design, the "Black & Burgundy" color scheme interior design offers a refined quality passenger compartment. In particular, Concept-S' interior design makes use of painstakingly executed detailing to express precision, quality, craftsmanship and sophistication such as:

  • Black woodgrain trim with silver accent
  • The center console designed inspired by Japanese traditional black lacquered boxes
  • Soft fine leather, hand-stitched by craftsmen selected for the seat upholstery

    Furthermore, the seat upholstery forms a three-dimensional surface with horizontally-ribbed cushioning providing superior fit, while the use of trimming lines is formed so as to gently follow the body contours holding occupants snugly in place.

    Silver accents of the trimming lines, curving around the seat, further enhance the perceived quality of the interior.

    (3) Main Specifications
    Overall length (mm)
    4,760
    Overall Width (mm)
    1,840
    Overall height (mm)
    1,700
    Wheelbase (mm)
    2,670
    Occupants
    5
    Powertrain
    Plug-in Hybrid EV System
    (2 permanent magnet synchronous motors, Lithimun-ion battery (12kWh),
    2.0-liter 4-cyl. DOHC MIVEC gasoline engine)
    Drivetrain
    Twin Motor 4WD
     
    2. Mitsubishi Motors Lineup at 2014 Paris Motor Show
    Model
    No. on display
    Remarks
    Press day
    Public day
    Outlander PHEV Concept-S
    1
    1
    Concept car.
    MITSUBISHI Concept XR-PHEV
    -
    1
    Concept car.
    Outlander PHEV
    2
     
    Production model.
    Outlander PHEV
    1
    1
    Rally car. Successful finisher in FIA Asia Cross Country Rally 2014.
    i-MiEV
    1
    1
     
    Outlander
    -
    1
     
    ASX
    -
    1
    RVR or Outlander Sport in some countries.
    Space Star
    -
    1
    Mirage in some countries.
    Pajero
    -
    1
    Montero or Shogun in some countries.
    L200
    -
    1
    Triton in some countries.
    Total
    5
    11