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Mitsubishi revives Evo name for EV concept. Image by Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi revives Evo name for EV concept
All-electric Mitsubishi e-Evolution SUV concept hints at future SUV models
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What's this then?

This sporty looking SUV is the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, which it has created to showcase just where its future direction will lead. Rather than previewing an upcoming production model, it is more about the start of a new chapter for the company, as it celebrates its centenary.

It looks quite sporty.

As SUVs go, the e-Evolution concept casts a striking image, and it was one of the most interesting debuts at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show - an event that usually sees some pretty spectacular and wacky concepts being shown. It has an exterior that is bolder than we typically see from Mitsubishi, indicating that this is one sleeping giant that is awakening, following its recent membership of the newly-titled Nissan Renault Mitsubishi Alliance.

The e-Evolution's styling was overseen by Tsunehiro Kunimoto, Mitsubishi's Head of Global Design, and it features a more prominent use of the 'Dynamic Shield' design around the front end. As the concept is fully electric, the large grille isn't primarily used for cooling. Instead, it is covered by a thin glass, behind which is the hardware used by its Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, including cameras and sensors.

Further back the floating roof design caps off a body style that looks purposeful. Cuts in the shoulder lines rise upwards from the front wheelarches and blend into the C-pillars. One interesting aerodynamic element are the intakes at the base of the C-pillars. These small inlets channel airflow inside the bodywork before exiting the bottom of the rear bumper, and is a feature that Mitsubishi is currently working on developing for future production models to help boost aerodynamics and downforce. The rear boot lid protrudes more than on a regular SUV, in a nod to the long history of Mitsubishi SUVs that carried spare wheels on their vertical tailgates.

Wind back a bit, did you say Artificial Intelligence?

Yes, the e-Evolution also previews a concept of the company's new AI, which aims to help drivers get the most from their car. It can learn the driver's style, and through the vehicle's on-board camera and sensors, it can read the road ahead and instantly provide tips to the driver, such as braking and turn-in points. Rather than most autonomous systems that are focusing on taking over from the driver, Mitsubishi's system is about the driver getting an even greater experience when behind the wheel.

What's under the bonnet?

It's more a case of what's under the floor, as the e-Evolution is battery powered and has its high-capacity cells located beneath the car. The power pack distributes power to the concept's three electric motors, with one on the front axle and two at the rear, powering each wheel. There's a new Active Yaw Control (AYC) system to provide electronically controlled torque vectoring for greater traction. The concept also has electric brake calipers instead of the usual hydraulic system. It is said to provide noticeable braking performance, even at lower speeds. According to Mitsubishi, "the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent."

So, when are we likely to see something like this on the road?

As mentioned, this concept isn't just about one model, rather a whole series of models that are in the pipeline. Mitsubishi plans to introduce 12 new models by 2022, including two fully electric vehicles. The realignment of the model range should see B- and C-segment SUVs coming, including a new Outlander, the next version of which will share the platform with the future Nissan X-Trail and Renault Koleos. As part of its product strategy under the new Alliance, most models will feature the choice of internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid and fully electric in the future.

Dave Humphries - 25 Oct 2017

Earlier articles featuring 2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution

2017-10-06: Mitsubishi’s electric crossover could be the successor to the Evo X

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept. Image by Mitsubishi.

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