The first hybrid vehicles to appear on the scene were tiny little things, specifically the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. Hybrid vehicles are among the best-selling in recent times, if not for concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, then at least for the high-floating price of fuel.
Some, though, think that perhaps automakers should have started bigger, where the benefits of hybrid technology would be all the more striking. To that end, Bob Lutz, of Chevy Volt fame, has gone in the opposite direction and revealed a series of full-size extended-range electric vehicles, including a full-size pickup, SUV, and cargo van.
Lutz isn’t the only one thinking in this direction, as seen by the recent sneak peak of the new Mitsubishi hybrid concept before its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show. Mistubishi’s GR-HEV Concept is the first to apply Mitsubishi’s hybrid technology to a heavy-duty one-ton pickup.
The diesel-electric hybrid makes use of a powerful combination of a diesel engine and multiple electric motors in full-time four-wheel drive. A new Super All-Wheel Control system, developed for the Lancer Evolution, governs torque output of front, rear, and center differentials, as well as brake force and stability control.
Instead of going fully electric, which is expensive and hard to sell, the Mitsubishi Sport Utility Hybrid Truck hopes to strike a balance between excellent torque characteristics and low emissions of diesel engines and electric motors. On the other hand, these very same characteristics should make the GR-HEV Concept more fun to drive and more efficient than the average full-size pickup. The Mitsubishi GR-HEV Concept will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, running March 7 to 17.
Image©Mitsubishi Motors Corporation