Aggressive Electric Crossover Coupe Previews Future Products
The pure-electric, four-wheel drive Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept made its world debut at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday. Mitsubishi said the coupe-styled crossover SUV concept previews future electric powertrain technology and the ability to reach Level 4 autonomy, allowing drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel.
The crossover is also a heritage play for Mitsubishi, as it leverages one of the automaker’s most notable models—the Lancer Evolution (Evo for short) high-performance sports sedan. Built for more than two decades, the rally-inspired Evo was discontinued in 2015 amid Mitsubishi’s focus on crossovers.
No Powertrain Details
Powertrain details were not released for the e-Evolution though Mitsubishi did say the concept uses three high-torque, high-performance electric motors: one at the front axle to move the front wheels, and a pair of electric motors at the rear wheels. The four-wheel drive system is complemented by a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring unit. Batteries are integrated into the floor in the middle of the vehicle. That helps provide a low center of gravity, while stopping power gets help from electric calipers instead of conventional hydraulic ones, according to the maker. No range or power numbers were announced.
Styling of the vehicle is on the wild-side aggressive and foreshadows a design theme called “Robust & Ingenious” that will be seen on future production models. The show car’s black grille is shielded under glass, which protects the cameras and sensors for autonomous driving. Large air intakes are located beneath the headlamps to cool the electric brake calipers; the air passes jet tail fins on the C-pillars before exiting on either side of the rear bumper. The back gets a large hexagon shape flanked by Y-shaped taillights that Mitsubishi said will appear on future models. It appears to have a high ground clearance, but no dimensions have been provided.
Inside, the e-Evolution features a large digital screen that runs the length of the dashboard just below the windshield. Mitsubishi wants to get in on the artificial intelligence (AI) game, so the screen can use cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to display augmented reality over an image of the road. A “coaching function” is also designed to send relevant information to the driver, so the vehicle’s abilities in a given situation are made clear.
It would seem that, for a small automaker like Mitsubishi, all of this electric and AI tech promises are little more than a dream. But now that the company is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and will share its electrification efforts, some of the tech previewed on the e-Evolution could begin to appear in production Renaults, Nissans and Mitsubishis in the next few years.
Mitsubishi executive vice president Mitsuhiko Yamashita described the e-Evolution at its Tokyo unveiling as a “new evolution of the SUV” that proposes “a new direction for Mitsubishi Motors.”
More Stories from the Tokyo Motor Show:
News: Nissan IMx Crossover EV at Tokyo Motor Show
Preview: 2017 Tokyo Motor Show