When you think of a rally car you don't think of a Plug-in Hybrid, but Mitsubishi aims to change that this October by entering a modified Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV into the Baja Portalgre 500 Challenge!
This is the Baja Portalegre 500 Challenge's 19 th year, with the first event taking place in 1987. Contestants travel at high speeds over 500 kilometres of dirt roads in Portalegre, eastern Portugal, and it's the perfect warm up to the Dakar Rally.
Mitsubishi will be entering a modified Outlander PHEV, the only twin-motor 4WD in production today, which will be driven by Hiroshi Masuoka of MMC. Masuoka is an experienced rally driver, previously winning the Dakar rally in 2002 and 2003.
The Outlander PHEV has been modified to maximise power output, with changes made to the drive battery, electric generator and electric motors.
Externally, off-road performance has also been improved by increasing the ground clearance, adding larger diameter rally tyres and softening the suspension. It has also been fitted with additional safety features including a roll cage.
These improvements will help the Outlander PHEV perform under the gruelling rally conditions and help with the production of future cars.
Driver Hiroshi Masuoka said: “This car has received popular reviews both in Japan and Europe for its smooth and stable driving dynamics which stem from its Twin Motor 4WD driveline.
“The Baja Portalegre 500 requires competitors to complete the 500km course non-stop, apart from some twenty minute service times, over everything from high-speed gravel to punishing 'yumpy' roads.
“For a PHEV, this demands the highest levels of drive motor and battery durability. With many competitors in this year's Baja Portalegre 500, I am driven to show the rally Outlander PHEV's high levels of driving dynamics and durability which derive from the production model to people all over the world.
“With the support of MMC EV development engineers, we will be competing with a view to finishing among the winners using this event as an opportunity to demonstrate the upgraded power of its EV components alongside the advance stage of development of our 4WD control technology aiming to develop plug-in hybrid EV system further in the future. I ask you all to support our efforts."
Mitsubishi will also be providing support to the Two & Four Motor Sports team in the FIA Asia Cross Country Rally 2015. They will be entering in a similarly specified Outlander PHEV that Mitsubishi will construct and provide and an engineering team for.
To find out more about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, visit our Mitsubishi dealership in Colchester or contact us using the buttons above.