Evolved version of S-AWC provides better handling and safety

Mitsubishi surprised everyone earlier this year when they unveiled the all-new Outlander. Looking a lot like a mini Montero Sport, the fourth-generation crossover borrowed styling cues from the Engelberg concept with its stylish front and rear ends, high-tech interior, and sleek roofline.

So far, the only available engine for the Outlander is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four that is shared with the Nissan Rogue in the US. It makes 181 PS with 245 Nm of torque and is paired to a CVT.

Outlander PHEV AWD image

So where is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the all-new Outlander? Mitsubishi is still busy with it but they have confirmed that it will be rolling out in the second half of the 2021 fiscal year – meaning sometime between October 2021 and March 2022. The exact details have yet to be revealed although Mitsubishi did mention that it will get an upgraded drivetrain.

Like the previous versions of the Outlander PHEV, the all-new model will have a twin motor AWD setup that consists of one motor at the front and another one at the rear. But in order to maximize grip and provide a safer and more secure means of driving, Mitsubishi claims that it will have an "evolved version of the Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system".

Outlander PHEV AWD image

While the S-AWC will continue to have features such as active stability control (ASC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), and active yaw control (AYC), the upgraded AWD system will also get a braking control system for the rear wheels. According to Mitsubishi, this reduces the load on the front wheels which makes for a more balanced, and better handling vehicle. More importantly, the new braking control system will aid in providing a safer driving experience during emergency situations.

Complementing the evolved S-AWC is a wide array of available driving modes. Normal, which is optimized for standard driving conditions on paved roads, serves as the basic driving mode for the crossover. Next is Gravel which provides balanced road handling ability on unpaved or wet paved roads. There's also Snow that helps the driver in snowy or slippery road conditions. In addition to those modes are Power and Eco. The former offers a more powerful acceleration when needed, while the latter prioritizes economic driving to save on fuel and produce fewer emissions.

Outlander PHEV AWD image

Other details and specifics about the all-new Outlander PHEV are still a mystery. What we do know, however, is that it will now have seating for 7 thanks to a newly-developed platform. Currently, the outgoing Outlander PHEV only has seating for 5 which limits its practicality and appeal to most buyers.

With the plug-in crossover set to receive an improved twin-motor AWD setup and three rows of seats, could the all-new Outlander PHEV be able to attract more customers that wish to get a hybrid plus 7 seats? Watch this space.