Mitsubishi gives the Xpander, Xpander Cross hybrid drive technology
Remember when Mitsubishi teased the electrified versions of the Xpander and Xpander Cross last week? Well, the automaker has officially revealed them in full in Thailand. Initially, we were expecting the MPVs to get the e-Power system from Nissan. Instead, Mitsubishi says that both vehicles make use of a full-hybrid system developed in-house.
Say hello to the 2024 Mitsubishi Xpander HEV and Xpander Cross HEV, and it's packing quite a hybrid system under the hood. At the heart of the MPVs is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) system that uses technology derived from the brand's plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain.
Called e:Motion, it consists of a 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated MIVEC engine that runs on the Atkinson cycle and is assisted by an electric motor and battery pack. Mitsubishi says the newly developed engine is 10% more fuel efficient than the 1.5-liter unit found in the non-hybrid Xpanders. When paired with the hybrid system, the automaker claims the MPV is approximately 34% more fuel efficient in city driving and 15% thriftier in highway driving. The Xpander/Xpander Cross HEV is also the first Mitsubishi vehicle to be fitted with an electric water pump to reduce mechanical loss and further improve fuel economy.
In terms of total system output, both the Xpander HEV and Xpander Cross HEV put out 115 PS which is 10 PS more than the non-hybrid version. Torque, on the other hand, is at a whopping 255 Nm which is more than enough for the MPV. Since it's a hybrid, the system benefits from multiple drive modes to make the most out of the powertrain – Normal, Wet, Gravel, Tarmac, Mud, EV 100%, and EV Charge. It also benefits from Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control technology which includes Active Yaw Control, Acceleration Control, and Steering Control.
Design-wise, the MPV looks no different from the non-hybrid variant. However, it does get some subtle changes here and there like the use of “HEV” badges on the front grille and tailgate, “Hybrid EV” badging on the doors, and blue accents on certain parts of the exterior.
Inside, the HEV MPVs come with a new 8-inch digital instrument cluster, a new shift-by-wire gear selector that appears to have been inspired by the Kicks e-Power, heat-reflected leather seats dubbed Heat Guard, and an electronic parking brake with auto-hold function.
While not seen, Mitsubishi was also busy upgrading its chassis. With the addition of a battery pack underneath the floor and an electric motor, the automaker improved its body rigidity and gave the suspension special tuning to handle the extra weight. The automaker says these upgrades achieve better steering stability and improved ride comfort.
Both the Xpander HEV and Xpander Cross HEV are now on sale in Thailand and are assembled locally in The Land of Smiles. Since Mitsubishi Philippines sources the Xpander and Xpander Cross from Indonesia, it might be a while before the electrified MPVs make their way here. Hopefully, the hybrid MPVs will also be launched in Indonesia which could eventually signal that we will also get it here. Fingers crossed that is what will happen in the future.