Mitsubishi wants to revolutionize the way hybrid SUVs / crossovers look and perform on and off-road. After teasing it several weeks ago with nothing but a photo of its silhouette, the automaker has officially revealed the Mi-Tech concept.
Unlike Mitsubishi’s usual concepts which take on the form of a crossover / SUV, the Mi-Tech breaks away from tradition thanks to its an open-top 'buggy' design. Devoid of doors and a roof, this gives the Mi-Tech a more outdoorsy look, while still keeping its futuristic design theme.
Beginning with its name, the ‘M’ stands for Mitsubishi Motors while the ‘I’ signifies intelligent, ingenious, inspiration, and interaction; all of which are present on the concept as claimed by the automaker. Finally, the word ‘Tech’ represent’s the concept’s wide array of future technologies that Mitsubishi plans to be available on production models.
The stylish concept features an imposing front end that is highlighted by a massive Dynamic Shield front grill, along with a distinct pair of LED daytime running lights and headlights. Overly-large alloy wheels, meanwhile, give the concept the ability to go over any terrain with ease. Its drop-top design gives it a rugged look and feel reminiscent of past 4x4s, while also giving it an airy feel, great for when you're in the outdoors.
As for the cabin, Mitsubishi decided to keep it simple with a horizontal theme. However, the body color finish on the inside, which is accentuated by copper finishes, give the Mi-Tech a distinct appearance. No center-mounted display here as the windshield itself doubles as a media display. Meanwhile, the driver is treated to a multi-info display, flat-bottomed steering wheel, as well as some paddle shifters. Finally, both the driver and passenger are seated in body-hugging bucket seats.
Powering the Mi-Tech is no ordinary plug-in hybrid powertrain. While it still gets a helping hand from an array of electric motors, the traditional gasoline engine has been replaced by a gas-turbine engine that Mitsubishi claims is lighter, smaller, and more environmentally-friendly. No exact output figures were released but they did say that this unique setup allows for a ‘smooth and powerful driving unique to electric vehicles by using EV driving mode and series driving mode’.
In order to keep the gas-turbine at optimal temperatures, Mitsubishi installed four cooling fans, which also lent a hand to the concept's striking looks. And, as an added benefit, Mitsubishi said that the turbine can run on a variety of other fuels like diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.
The concept also benefits from an electric quad motor 4WD system which Mitsubishi claims delivers improved traction and and grip on any road surface. Combined with the front and rear Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control, it allows the Mi-Tech's all-wheel drive system to transfer power to any wheel that needs it the most. It also has the ability to do a 180-spin as the wheels can counter-steer with one another to perform the manuever.
Aside from its high-tech powertrain, the Mi-Tech also boasts of a cutting-edge software that can aid the driver. Called Mi-Pilot, it uses advance sensing technology along with an augmented reality windshield. With it, the system can automatically warn the driver of dangers in real-time, as well as help guide driver in low visibility. This feature can work in both on-road and off-road conditions.
Will we see the Mi-Tech as fully-working production vehicle soon? Mitsubishi said that this is more of a design and powertrain study. But like what they stated earlier, they plan to have all of these technologies to be available in the future. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it does happen.