Mitsubishi is looking to reinvigorate its image and the new e-Evolution Concept may just be the jolt of energy the company needs in the wake of its recent controversies.
The electrified high-performance sport-utility vehicle, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, embodies the company’s new mantra, “Drive your Ambition.”
The company claims the prototype illustrates its new strategic direction by incorporating the strengths of the SUV and EV with the ability to integrate new systems for a connected mobility customer experience.
With this philosophy, Mitsubishi will jump on all of the current bandwagons — sport-ute and crossover popularity and a significant shift toward EVs — to help revitalize the company, which was once on the brink.
Mitsubishi says it will expand and accelerate its EV deployment, “pushing the technological envelope with a tightly integrated system of artificial intelligence, connectivity and on-board and cloud computing.”
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“We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers’ desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully-considered functionality MMC is known for,” said MMC Head of Global Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto.
On the exterior this means a new design language called Robust & Ingenious. It’s a language of contrasts: a vehicle that is tough and capable while utilizing the latest technology to provide comfort and convenience while maintaining safety.
Mitsubishi enjoys an impressive heritage off-road capability and the e-Evolution seeks to continue that lineage. Its four-wheel drive system takes advantage of high ground clearance, short overhangs, strong shoulders and narrow hips that provide nimbleness and agility.
They’re paired to muscular tires that protrude at the four corners to communicate its powerful 4WD traction. Bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof enhance the vehicle’s muscular attitude, while air drawn-in past the C-pillar jet tailfins exits on either side of the rear bumper to aid the vehicle’s excellent aerodynamics.
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The large hexagon shape at the rear draws inspiration from the spare tire cover of the Mitsubishi Shogun, one of the icons of the automaker’s heritage of off-road driving.
However, it also means technology is pervasive throughout the interior cabin, starting with what the driver sees first. Acting like a level in an electronic viewfinder, the horizontal instrument panel makes it easier to sense the attitude of the vehicle while driving.
A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard displaying environmental conditions, navigation and coaching information. The large screen is flanked by two smaller screens, showing images from front and rear cameras, while panoramic glazing provides a near unobstructed 360-degree visibility for a feeling more akin to a jet fighter than a car.
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The new concept also uses artificial intelligence to help the vehicle more responsive and better equipped to handle various road conditions and traffic scenarios. The vehicle learns the driver’s tendencies over times and makes adjustments to assist in different situations.