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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to compete in Oz Safari

After competing in the recent Asia Cross Country Rally, Mitsubishi is entering an Outlander PHEV in the iconic Australian Safari.

THE MITUSBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV is being run with technical support from Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMAL), and operated by Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia (TMR Australia). The Australian Safari takes place in Western Australia from 19-27 September.

Experienced local driver and co-driver team of Steve Glenney and Bernie Webb will put the plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV through its paces during the nine-day outback event. Competing in class A1 for production vehicles, in a category specially created for hybrid or dual powered vehicles, the Outlander PHEV will be the first plug-in hybrid four-wheel drive officially entered in an Australian motorsport event.

The Australian Safari entry marks the third international off-road rally outing for an Outlander PHEV since its launch in late 2012. Previously, the Outlander PHEV has competed in the Asia Cross Country Rally in 2013 and 2014. Indeed, Mitsubishi says it will take what it learned in the Asia Cross Country Rally and apply that to its Australian Safari entry: To help it withstand the punishing conditions, the Outlander PHEV will have extra underbody and frontal protection, reinforced suspension arms and strut towers along with competition brake pads, rally tyres and springs with adjustable dampers.

Mitusbishi to enter an Outlander PHEV in Australian Safari

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will support the TMR Australia Outlander PHEV Safari entry by sending three plug-in hybrid specialist engineers to Western Australia for technical assistance during the gruelling seven day event, which will cover more than 2,500 competitive kilometres through sand, salt plains, dry river beds and rugged desert tracks.

TMR Australia Outlander PHEV Safari Team Principal Alan Heaphy said the Australasian Safari is a challenging event that demands stamina and endurance from competitors and vehicles alike.

“We’re very excited about building the first plug-in hybrid to compete in the Australasian Safari,” he said.

“The Outlander PHEV showcases the latest Mitsubishi hybrid and four-wheel drive technology, making it an ideal platform for an entry in the Australasian Safari.

“From our long-term experience working with Mitsubishi products, the quality of engineering and technology is a good match for motorsport, and we’re looking forward to proving the Outlander PHEV’s durability and technology in genuine off-road conditions.”

The 2014 Australasian Safari concludes in Kalbarri – 600 kilometres north of Perth – on Saturday 27 September.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober