Hybrids

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV bows in Geneva with better efficiency

With a new Atkinson-cycle engine, a bigger battery and a nicer interior, Europe's best-selling PHEV just got a little nicer.

Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid took a while to arrive in the US, and hasn't been on sale for long, but that isn't stopping the Japanese automaker from improving it. A host of small changes should hopefully increase its presence in its limited segment. 

Mitsubishi is using the 2018 Geneva Motor Show to debut its 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and that makes sense, because it's been Europe's best-selling plug-in hybrid the last three years. This SUV promises to be both more efficient and more powerful thanks to key adjustments throughout the powertrain. It's also a bit prettier, thanks to adjustments to the headlights and grille.

Instead of relying on a 2.0-liter, Otto-cycle gas engine, the 2019 Outlander PHEV will adopt a 2.4-liter, Atkinson-cycle gas engine. Moving to the Atkinson cycle means the intake valves are held open for a bit longer as the intake stage moves to the combustion stage, which improves combustion efficiency and, therefore, fuel efficiency.

The electrical side of this plug-in hybrid has also been updated. The rear electric motor can output 10 percent more than it used to, and the battery's output has been boosted by the same percentage. That battery also has 15 percent more capacity than before, which should improve on the current Outlander PHEV's 22-mile EV range, although Mitsubishi hasn't mentioned any specific figures yet.

Inside, the mode switch now includes Sport and Snow modes. There's also a new set of leather front seats, additional HVAC vents for rear passengers as well as new switches and trim. 

The new Outlander PHEV hits Europe early this fall, but there's no word yet on when it will come to the US and Canada. While you're waiting, check out our live photos from the show floor in Geneva.