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Mitsubishi's Mi-Tech Concept is a tiny turbine terror in Tokyo

The only thing crazier than this new Mi-Tech PHEV Concept's looks? Its tech.

Mitsubishi Mi-Tech Concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show
The Mitsubishi MI-Tech concept is a crazy, gas-turbine hybrid-powered beach bruiser.
Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Just because Mitsubishi doesn't seem like it's got a lot going on in the US at the moment, doesn't mean it's not making moves in its home market. Case in point is the new Mi-Tech concept that debuted on Wednesday at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The Mi-Tech Concept has been designed as a "small plug-in hybrid electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind."

Yeah, Mitsubishi went kind of off the rails at the end there, but we won't let that stop us. Now, the Mi-Tech tourer is actually a lot cooler than we expected it to be, thanks to its aggressive, almost Tonka-truck-like nose and its seemingly classic Ford Bronco-inspired door cutouts.

The concept features a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain, but instead of a conventional piston engine, it's packing a gas-turbine engine that functions as a generator. It's kind of a cool idea since gas turbines are great at running at a single speed for long periods, but not super-efficient at idle or during big throttle changes.

Electric motors power the vehicle's 4WD system, and Mitsu says the left- and right-side wheels can be powered in opposite directions simultaneously, which ought to make for some amazingly tight donuts.

This crazy thing looks absolutely beachin'.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Inside, the passenger area ("cabin" doesn't really apply here, does it?) the Mi-Tech features Mitsubishi's Human Machine Interface (HMI) that uses an augmented reality windshield to display pertinent information.

The Mi-Tech Concept has also got Mi-Pilot, which is what Mitsubishi is calling its next generation of advanced driver-assistance technology. Exactly what it can do is kind of a mystery, since the folks from Mitsubishi didn't feel the need to elaborate on its features in their press release.

The Mi-Tech concept is pretty innovative for Mitsubishi, and while it's very unlikely to ever see production, we do appreciate the direction in which the company seems to be headed.

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