Automobiles

Mitsubishi closing in on new hybrid SUV

At the Geneva auto show in March, Mitsubishi will show off a new compact SUV concept with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, building on previous concept work.

Mitsubishi concept
Mitsubishi released teaser photos of a new compact SUV concept to be unveiled at the Geneva auto show. Mitsubishi

As a preview for the upcoming Geneva auto show, Mitsubishi released a few details and photos of a concept car for the show. Building off a concept unveiled at last year's Geneva show, it looks like Mitsubishi is coming closer to a new production SUV with a hybrid drivetrain.

Mitsubishi's press release notes that the unnamed concept uses its "Earth Technology stable of environmental technologies", defining that as a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The company offers its Outlander model equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain in European and Asian markets, but not in the US.

The company has also developed a pure electric drivetrain in its i-Miev electric car.

At last year's Geneva auto show, Mitsubishi showed three concepts, one being the Concept XR which uses similar styling as the new concept based on teaser photos. The Concept XR was billed as a plug-in hybrid crossover, which could be similar in size to a compact SUV.

Automakers often use concepts at auto shows to judge reaction to a new potential vehicle. If Mitsubishi found the Concept XR received the most positive reception among the three it showed last year, the debut of the new concept could be a step towards production of a new vehicle.

CNET's coverage of the 2015 Geneva auto show will begin during the press preview days on March 1 and 2.

Mitsubishi concept car
The new concept bears a strong resemblance to the Concept XR Mitsubishi brought to last year's Geneva auto show. Mitsubishi