Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled an its all electric SUV Airtrek at the Guangzhou Auto Show, and there are hopes that – although designed for the Chinese market – it could also be the first full-sized Mitsubishi EV to make it to Australian shores.
The Airtrek boasts an all-electric driving range of around 520-kilometres and a 70kWh battery, although little else is known about the technical specifications.
The media release for the car – produced by Mitubishi’s joint venture in China known as GAC Mitsubishi – speaks of an “e-cruising SUV’” – where the “e” stands not just for “electric” but also “expanding” (as in expanding life with a car), and “expressive”.
The motor, inverter, and reduction drive have all been integrated into a single, lightweight and compact unit, combined with a driving system that delivers high output and torque.
A lightweight and high-rigidity body helps to deliver on the promised 500km+ driving range, yet Mitsubishi still claim it delivers “the powerful yet smooth ride characteristic of an EV, with nimble handling for a thoroughly exhilarating driving.”
According to local Chinese media, the Airtrek measures in at 4630mm long, 1920mm wide, and 1728mm high, and rides on a 2830mm wheelbase – slotting in between the Eclipse Cross and Outlander in terms of size, and on par with many popular Australian-market mid-size SUVs.
“We named the new electric SUV Airtrek so that many customers can enjoy adventurous, active driving with this pure EV, which achieves a maximum driving range of approximately 520 km while emitting zero CO2 in motion,” said Takao Kato, Mitsubishi president and chief executive officer.
“We hope the all-new Airtrek will help expand the horizons of customers in China, where environmental initiatives are accelerating with new energy vehicles, especially EVs.”
Featuring an open and spacious interior with horizontally themed instrument panel offering a broad field of vision, the interior also provides a high-class feel with soft padding for the parts touched by the passenger and stitched used in every detail.
It has a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen that sits in the middle of the dashboard and a fully digital instrument cluster, incorporating augmented-reality navigation, sits behind the steering wheel.
It has also been reported that Level 2 semi-autonomous driving functionality will be offered, thanks to nine radars and cameras helping to accelerate, brake, and centre the vehicle within its lane.
And though the GAC Mitsubishi Airtrek has been designed for the Chinese market, a Mitsubishi spokesperson told The Driven that it nevertheless provided a glimpse into the future of Mitsubishi Australia EVs (previously, Mitsubishi’s only electrified options have been the all-electric iMiev, which is no longer for sale here new, and the Outlander plug-in hybrid which is still on sale).
“Ongoing electrification is very much part of our future consideration here at Mitsubishi in Australia,” said Josephine Wagstaff, public relations manager for Mitsubishi Australia.
“Whilst the Airtrek EV is designed for the Chinese market, we believe its design and size is the sort of future EV product Australians would love to own and drive.”
Wagstaff added that “we are keeping our options open and we are looking at new opportunities/products for the Australian market.”
The 2022 GAC Mitsubishi Airtrek electric SUV is expected to go on sale in China in 2022 at a price of around 233,800 Chinese yuan, which converts to around $A51,000.
Story updated with notes about iMiev and Outlander PHEV.