Mitsubishi will enter an Outlander PHEV in the Baja Portalegre 500 cross-country rally which will take place in Portugal in October this year.
The modified competition vehicle will be driven by Hiroshi Masuoka, winner of the Dakar Rally in 2002 and 2003. He will also coordinate the other members of the team, which will consist mainly of Mitsubishi personnel.
Based on the production model, the Outlander PHEV uses the same drive battery, but with modifications to its structure for greater capacity and output. Additionally, the control system governing the motors has been modified to deliver a higher output, while the generator and engine which supply power to the battery and motors have also been boosted to increase power output and overall system performance. However, no output figures were released.
Besides the roll cage and other safety equipment, the Outlander PHEV will also feature a higher ground clearance and longer suspension stroke, as well as larger diameter rally tires. Mitsubishi says these changes will enhance the Outlander PHEV’s performance under punishing rally conditions, with the valuable data gathered during the event to be used for development of production cars.
Celebrating its 29th edition this year, the Baja Portalegre 500 is a cross-country rally in which contestants will be driving approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) mostly at high speeds over rather flat but dirt roads. The event is known as a warm-up to the Dakar Rally and is usually attended by rally aces from all over the world. This obviously begs the question whether Mitsubishi is preparing to enter the 2016 Dakar Rally with the Outlander PHEV. We’ll probably find out after the Baja Portalegre 500.
More than 300 automobiles, motor bikes and quads are expected to take part this year in the Baja Portalegre 500, which counts as the 9th Round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.