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Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer: Silly Name, Smart AWD

This plug-in was shown alongside a home electrical system tailored to PHEVs

This plug-in was shown alongside a home electrical system tailored to PHEVs

Mitsubishi isn’t a big player in North America, but its Outlander plug-in hybrid is a best-seller in Europe, with good growth potential as more cities move toward banning internal combustion propulsion in city centers. So it’s no surprise that Mitsubishi chose Geneva to reveal its latest concept vehicle, a plug-in-hybrid SUV called the Engelberg Tourer. The moniker is taken from a Swiss ski town; if it were revealed in America, perhaps it’d be called the Vail Tourer or perhaps the Jackson Hole Tourer. (As it sits, we wish it also incorporated the wider region’s name and was called the Engleberg-Titlis Tourer, because comedy.)

The concept is meant to showcase the adaptive nature of Mitsubishi’s twin-motor PHEV system. Largely similar to the driveline in the Outlander PHEV, which teams a 2.4-liter gasoline engine with electric motors at each axle, the Engleberg Tourer uses Mitsubishi’s Active Yaw Control to split the torque front and rear. With a destination programmed into the navigation system, it can also use available data on weather, traffic, and road conditions to fine-tune both the torque split and battery management. Mitsubishi claims a battery-only range of 43.5 miles (70 km) and a fuel-and-battery range of 435 miles (700 km).

The Engelberg Tourer’s styling points to the future direction of Mitsubishi’s SUVs. Even allowing for the flights of fancy that are part and parcel of any show property, several elements could easily make it to production, including the large, blanked-off grille, the high-mounted running lights, the sharp bodyside creases, and the vertical chrome element on the front doors. The bulge on the roof is a concealed carrier for snowboards. Inside, the Engelberg Tourer has three rows of narrow-profile seats designed to free up interior space.