Okay, perhaps the odd name resonates in the cantons of Switzerland but there’s no question, you’re likely to get some strange looks when you tell somebody about the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.
It’s the latest in a series of show cars rolling out from the long-struggling Japanese automaker, most – if not all – putting the emphasis on plug-based drivetrain technologies. For its part, Mitsubishi seems determined to keep us waiting for most of the details but does offer some hints about the latest prototype which, it turns out, is named after a popular Swiss ski resort that has some links to European motor sports.
The Engelberg Tourer, the company suggests, will “bring further developments in SUV styling and practicality, along with a focus on next-generation technology and enhanced EV performance.”
The Geneva show car follows the on the heels of other concepts as the e-evolution, as well as production models like the Outlander PHEV, and underscores Mitsubishi’s growing commitment to electric driveline technology.
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As is the norm with a teaser image, there’s only so much we can tell. But the unusual light pipes that wrap around the headlights and grille are in line with what has become an industry trend, tapping battery range to provide some distinction to the concept’s face.
The Tourer appears to adopt an unusual layout when it comes to headlights, with cat’s eye lamps just under the hood brightly lit while triple-stacked lamps on either side of the grille just barely emerge from the shadows. We’ve enhanced the image here to make it easier to spot details.
One thing we can’t discern is whether what we’re referring to as the grille actually is used to take in air to cool the electronics and drive system or, along the lines of what we’re now seeing from Tesla, Hyundai and others, there’s just a flat, solid face where a traditional grille would go. About all we can be sure of is the bold, three-diamond, or mitsu-bishi, logo on the face of the Engelberg Tourer.
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One other detail that pops up as we lighten up the shadows: the show car appears to be equipped with sideview cameras, rather than conventional mirrors. That has been a favorite conceit of automotive stylists going back decades, but several manufacturers have petitioned NHTSA – and its European counterpart – to allow the technology to go into production. Perhaps they’re finally showing up here as a hint of what’s to come.
The Engelberg Tourer Concept also appears to boast both a front skid plate and a roof rack equipped with a light bar. That would suggest that the show car is intended to signal it’s capable of at least a modicum of off-roadability.
The brief text accompanying the teaser also leaves room to question whether the Engelberg Tourer Concept is a pure battery-electric vehicle or a longer-range plug-in than the current Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Indeed, it’s quite possible the show car is teasing the design of the next-gen plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.
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We’re hoping to learn more about the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept before its official Geneva Motor Show debut in March.