Mitsubishi eX concept revealed: electric SUV previews next-gen tech

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If Mitsubishi was to launch an Evolution-badged SUV, as it’s reported to be considering, one could imagine it’d look a little like this, the eX concept. That’s not what the eX represents, however. Instead, and perhaps more importantly, this small new SUV represents a new generation of electric vehicles for Mitsubishi, succeeding the tiny i-MiEV hatch that appeared in 2009. With the Mitsubishi of today now heavily focused on the SUV market, it’s no surprise that its next EV model should take the form a high-riding model. Even the Outlander is made unique, globally and within the Mitsubishi line-up, by being available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. As a concept, the ASX-sized eX is loaded with new technologies, from its next-generation electric drive system to its comfort and convenience features. From a styling view, the eX builds on the look of the recently facelifted Outlander, along with February’s XR-PHEV concept. On the drive front, the stylised SUV is driven by a pair of electric motors, one at each end, delivering 70kW apiece for a combined output of 140kW. Torque figures are still to come. The system is referred to as a Twin Motor 4WD, combining a version of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) dynamics control system with Active Yaw Control, the latter varying torque split between the rear wheels. Three driving modes are defined with the system: Auto, Gravel and Snow. While Gravel and Snow are self-explanatory, Auto is the interesting one, with sensors and cameras monitoring the road surface conditions to select the optimum drive settings on the fly. Mitsubishi says that the eX concept’s compact but high-density 45kWh lithium-ion battery pack will offer a driving range of around 400 kilometres off one charge. The battery also utilises a Vehicle To Home technology that, if necessary, allows the vehicle to power domestic appliances “in an average household” for up to four days. Other technologies include a communications-based accident avoidance system – using future-focused vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-road and vehicle-to-pedestrian systems – designed to prevent accidents by detecting objects out of the driver’s view. Those communications systems also allow for the use of a new Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control, which allows vehicles to share information on surrounding traffic to help maintain smoother commuting. There’s also automated valet parking that allows the vehicle to be parked without the driver inside, wireless battery charging to simplify the recharging process, and driver monitoring to detect fatigue and alertness. An intelligent display is also featured in the dash, designed to coordinate with an individual’s phone to provide a more connected experience. Mitsubishi has yet to confirm the eX for production, although it openly describes the concept’s technologies as a preview of its next-generation vehicles. Likewise, this sharpened version of its ‘dynamic shield’ styling is said to “indicate future direction of MMC Design”. Watch for the eX to make its debut at the Tokyo motor show later this month.