Mitsubishi broke a number of enthusiast's hearts with the end of the Lancer Evolution last year. The good news is that Evolution name is back on a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The bad news is that it is a crossover.
The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept takes a number of the hot trends (crossovers, electric powertrains, and artificial intelligence) and rolls up into a vehicle that looks more at home in Gundam anime. There are sharp angles, a prominent grille, massive air intakes, wheels pushed into the corners, and a fair number of creases.
Mitsubishi didn't supply much information on the e-Evolution's powertrain aside from it featuring three electric motors - one on the front axle and two on the rear axle. This is paired with Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) that provides torque vectoring and active yaw control. There is also a set of electric brake calipers that are said to provide better performance than hydraulic ones.
As for the artificial intelligence, Mitsubishi has fitted a system that can interpret the intentions of a driver and adjust vehicle systems to match it. This is done through various sensors around the e-Evolution that monitor various aspects. From there, the vehicle will develop a 'training program' for the driver to enhance their skills.
Press Release is on Page 2
MITSUBISHI MOTORS DEBUTS THE MITSUBISHI E-EVOLUTION CONCEPT THE EMBODIMENT OF MMC’S NEW “DRIVE YOUR AMBITION” BRAND STRATEGY
CYPRESS, Calif. – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on October 27, 2017, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will celebrate the world debut of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. The all-electric high-performance SUV embodies MMC's new brand strategy under the new "Drive your Ambition" global tagline, a strategy that reflects an adventurous and progressive mindset for inspirational design and product.
The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a technical prototype to illustrate the strategic direction of a renewed MMC brand that incorporates the strengths of SUV, EV, and the ability to integrate new systems for a connected mobility customer experience.
Under this new ethos, MMC will expand its customer base, leveraging its strong pedigree of driving performance and reliability with breakthrough SUVs and crossovers. As a first-mover in electric vehicles, MMC will expand and accelerate its EV deployment. MMC will push the technological envelope with a tightly integrated system of AI, connectivity, on-board and cloud computing.
"Robust & Ingenious": The design philosophy of Mitsubishi Motors
MMC has adopted a design philosophy under the title "Robust & Ingenious."
"We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers' desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully-considered functionality Mitsubishi Motors is known for," said MMC Head of Global Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto.
Robust & ingenious, the design language of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT, is a study in contrasts. MMC vehicles of the future are meant to be sincere, tough, and functional. At the same time, they will be clever, resourceful, style-setting and technologically advanced.
The design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT
MMC has a long and strong heritage. Think of "Mitsubishi Motors," and proven off-road performance, along with superior 4WD control come to mind. Now, the banner of superior, high-performance 4WD control is carried forward by the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. The design expresses the readiness to grip the ground with all four-wheels, and the agility of a high performance cross-country tourer.
The front face design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a fresh take on MMC's archetypal DYNAMIC SHIELD design. The black grille is shielded under glass, a subtle hint that this car is a high performance electric vehicle. Protected under the glass, and accentuated by blue lines for emphasis, sit cameras and sensors. Large air intakes are located beneath the headlamps, ready to cool the electric brake calipers. Adding to the vehicle's excellent aerodynamics, the drawn-in air passes jet tailfins on the C-pillars before exiting on either side of the rear bumper.
A sharply slanted front windshield and short overhangs give the e- MITSUBISHI EVOLUTION CONCEPT a unique side profile that has not been possible before the arrival of electric propulsion. High ground clearance, short overhangs, strong shoulders, and narrow hips project nimbleness and agility. Muscular tires that protrude at the four corners communicate powerful 4WD torque. Bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof enhance the vehicle's muscular attitude.
The large hexagon shape at the rear draws inspiration from the spare tire cover of the quintessential SUV, the legendary Mitsubishi Pajero, a hallmark of off-road driving, and one of the most iconic chapters of MMC's heritage.
Inside, the cockpit of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT shows that its designers suddenly had the freedom to go beyond the traditional firewall. The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is powered by three torqueful electric motors, and the absence of a big internal combustion engine under the hood gave designers the space to realize a radically novel cockpit. Its instrument panel appears to float in front of the driver. It is a MMC vehicle, and the instrument panel adopts MMC's trademark horizontal styling, with the focus on information above the axis and on operation below. Acting like a level in an electronic viewfinder, the horizontal instrument panel makes it easier to sense the state of the vehicle during driving – form follows function well down the road.
A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard. It displays outside conditions, navigation and coaching information. The large screen is flanked by two smaller screens, showing images from front and rear cameras. Full-glass windows provide near unobstructed 360-degree visibility, for a feeling more akin to a jet fighter than a car.
The technologies of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT
- EV system: The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT uses high-torque, high-performance electric motors, fed by a high-capacity battery system to deliver the smooth and powerfully responsive performance that distinguishes EVs from ICE-powered vehicles. The drive battery is located under the floor mid-ship of the vehicle, providing a low center of gravity for the utmost driving stability.
- 4WD system: For exceptional driving performance, the triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels, complemented by a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring AYC unit. All of this is integrated into MMC's unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system. Cornering performance and traction performance are improved. The brakes of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT responsively and precisely control the driving forces with the help of electric calipers that supersede the conventional hydraulic caliper. The effects of the system can be felt and appreciated immediately, even at low speeds when G-forces are low. Whether driving around town, on expressways, or winding roads, the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent.
- AI system: The brain of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that augments the driver's capabilities. An array of sensors allows the AI system to instantly read changes in road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver's intent. Seamlessly coordinating driver intent with vehicle performance, the system supports drivers of all abilities. By making it easier and safer to control the vehicle, the motoring experience is brought to a new level. A special coaching function allows the AI system to transfer knowledge to the driver, and to unobtrusively enhance the driving expertise. After building a picture of the driver's skill level, the system constructs a training program that provides advice through voice dialogue and a large dashboard display. As a result, drivers of all abilities quickly experience a vehicle that behaves the way they want it, and soon they find themselves enjoying the driving experience to an even greater degree.