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Mitsubishi eX Concept SUV revealed

Set to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of this month, the Mitsubishi eX Concept SUV offers a glimpse at the brand’s next-generation EV system and sundry other clever tech.

MITSUBISHI HAS revealed images and details of its eX Concept SUV which will be revealed in full at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of this month. Mitsubishi says it’s “a vision for a compact SUV powered by a next-generation EV system”.

According to the Japanese car maker the Dynamic Shield front-end design of the eX Concept offers a glimpse of the brand’s future design direction. Beyond good looks, the eX Concept shows off Mitsubishi’s next-generation electric drive system, boasting a 400km cruising range. It also offers all-wheel drive.

“Installing the drive battery beneath the body has lowered the centre of gravity and together with its Twin Motor 4WD and S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system, helps provide handling control which faithfully reflects driver inputs as well as outstanding vehicle stability,” Mitsubishi said in a statement.

As a techno marvel, the eX Concept also hints at Mitsubishi’s efforts around autonomous vehicles. In particular, “utilising next-generation information services and advanced active safety technology”.

The outside you can see for yourself and, beyond saying that the snout hints at the brand’s future direction there’s really not a lot to say. However, the inside/outside is worth mentioning… See, the eX Concept cops “easy-access doors” with no centre pillar, meaning the whole side of the car opens up when the front and rear doors are open.

“The use of a framed structure covered with soft-touch material for the dashboard and other major elements of the front compartment not only creates a sense of being light in weight visually – the car’s structure actually reduces its weight,” Mitsubishi said. Clever. And the centre console houses two portable batteries which can be used “outside of the car to support the active lifestyles”. Cool.

Bu the techno wizardry takes an extra turn with the use of “augmented reality (AR) as well as the Intelligent Display located in the centre of the instrument housing to give information to the driver.

Linking to an information network using connected car technology, the Mitsubishi eX Concept brings new ways of enjoying the in-car experience”.

Indeed, the whole windscreen becomes a visual display, allowing drivers to view changes in road conditions without having to make major movements beyond their line of sight. The type of information that can be displayed includes:

•Route guidance from the car navigation system

•Vehicle-to-vehicle distance alerts

•Lane departure warnings

•Information on fixed or movable traffic signs acquired by the camera-based road sign recognition system

“In addition, the AR windscreen is fitted with Caution Tracking which employs driver assistance technology using vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-road and vehicle-to-pedestrian communications to display guidance and warnings on information outside the driver’s field of view, such as vehicles or pedestrians approaching intersections but hidden from the driver.”

The Mitsubishi eX Concept “embodies the culmination of all the technologies MMC has developed to date and uses the next-generation EV system which brings together a longer cruising range as well as superior driving performance”. Yep, that all sounds great, but what does it mean?

The eX Concept gets an electric motor mounted on the front and rear axle for a combined output of 140kW (70kW to each axle) and can cruise for up to 400km – a motor at the front and back makes in all-wheel drive. As you would hope, the eX Concept also gets a tweaked version of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system which uses braking to control the front wheels and a transfer mechanism Active Yaw Control (AYC) that varies torque split between the rear wheels.

The driver can select between three different drive modes to extract the full performance of the S-AWC system. AUTO mode uses sensors and cameras which monitor and feedback road surface conditions to the S-AWC control unit so that it automatically selects the optimum drive mode for the surface conditions encountered along the route. GRAVEL delivers optimum traction and drive on unpaved roads and in heavy rain while SNOW delivers optimum handling on snow-covered or other slippery surfaces.

Cleverly, the Mitsubishi eX Concept can be connected to a Vehicle to Home (V2H) device that allows the energy stored in the drive battery to supply enough electricity battery to power domestic appliances in an average household for four days.

The eX Concept offers the same suite of active safety features as the recently reveal Subaru VIZIV but adds a road condition detection sensor which is a camera and radar based system that is able to tell if the car is driving on bitumen or dirt, or the weather, and can automatically adjust the S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system.

And the eX Concept also offers a degree of automated driving ability. For instance, it offers an automated valet parking system which allows the car to connect with the “parking area system and vehicle system using connected car technology”. The car can then be retrieved by the owner simply tapping an icon on their smartphone or smartwatch… although we’d suggest there’s more than just a touch of science fiction in all of this.

For the smart valet system to work, the hotel would need to have a connected parking station with electric sharing bays that would allow the car to navigate from one point to the other and then back again. In terms of autonomous running, it will probably only work on highways where the car is able to monitor its perimeter and connect to a traffic network to adjust for congestion, etc.

Practical Motoring will be travelling to the Tokyo Motor Show with Mitsubishi later this month and will report more about the eX Concept and the new Challenger (Sport). Stay tuned.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober