Mitsubishi is testing its plug-in hybrid electric technology in rallying, with the Outlander PHEV rally car finishing the FIA-certified Asia Cross Country Rally 2015 (AXCR) held in northern Thailand between August 8 and 14.
Run by the Two & Four Motor Sports rally team with technical support from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV covered the 2,400-kilometer (1,491-mile) rally in 40 hours 1 minute and 51 seconds, taking first place in the T1-3 electric vehicle class and 20th place overall.
Driven by Takatsugu Aoki with co-driver Wuttichai Trithara, Outlander PHEV showcased the durability of its Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain even under severe road conditions. The Outlander PHEV has successfully finished the Asia Cross Country Rally three years in a row now.
Although based on the production Outlander PHEV, the rally car does feature some modifications. The output of the electric motors and generator was raised, while the capacity of the drive battery was increased. Changes were made to the Twin Motor 4WD System as well, benefiting from know-how from the Lancer Evolution.
Additionally, the rally car has a higher ground clearance and longer suspension stroke than the production model. It also uses rally-spec high-profile tires and other modifications made to improve off-road performance.
“The motor, generator, battery and other EV components made it through the rally with no issues – proof of its reliability and durability. We will complete a much better rally car and we are aiming for a higher placing for the Baja Portalegre this fall,” said Technical Director Yasuo Tanaka.
A similar-specification Outlander PHEV rally car will enter the Baja Portalegre 500 cross-country rally in Portugal from October 22 through 24. The car will be driven by team captain and double Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka.