Mitsubishi Concept Pushes Boundaries

Mitsu GR-HEV 1 II
 

By Larry Edsall

If you love your F-150, Silverado or Ram, you're probably going to hate Mitsubishi's GR-HEV concept, which debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show. But if you are among those people who think there's a need for a less-than-full-size pickup and you're looking for a more carlike ride, then the GR-HEV might interest you.

Oh, and by "those people" we mean folks outside the U.S. and Canada, because in most of the world a full-size pickup is pretty much viewed as overkill: too big, too heavy and too thirsty to be practical. There's a reason why a compact pickup such as the Mitsubishi L200/Triton is the best-selling pickup in a place like England, where the roads are narrow and the fuel is expensive. But there's still a need for tradespeople to carry their gear, for delivery folks to tote supplies or drivers to tow their compact campers.

We've mentioned Mitsubishi's new concept (link) before, and the automaker says that the GR is short for Grand Runner, which "represents powerful driving through grand and magnificent lands with advanced technology." The HEV part of the name is short for Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Seen as a potential replacement for the L200, Mitsubishi says the GR-HEV can duplicate many of the L200's various workhorse capabilities. It rides on a 118-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 213 inches, is 76 inches wide, 70 inches tall and can seat five inside.

Mitsubishi L200 2012 II

Mitsubishi calls the GR-HEV a sport-utility truck and its styling, which it calls "aerodynamic chunkiness," appears to be based on a futuristic SUV. With that big bed area sticking up in the air, we think it looks more like a tan stink bug.

Providing power is a 2.5-liter "clean diesel" four-cylinder engine with an electric motor assist to boost power off the line.

Mitsubishi says the trucklette features Super All-Wheel Control with a Super Select 4 drive mode system that allows the driver to select between 2-High, 4-High, 4-High-Lock and 4-Low-Lock, capable of driving across all terrains.

The concept offers active cruise control, lane departure warning and other advanced safety technologies. It also has a small exterior door panel just ahead of the left-rear fender to provide access to an AC power supply system which, Mitsubishi says, eliminates the need to carry electrical generators to the work or campsite. This we like.

"Its development is founded upon the combination of sedan- or SUVlike comfort levels, and the pickup truck functionalities of the highly-acclaimed Triton," according to the Mitsubishi press release.

"The exterior design sets it well apart from conventional pickup trucks, combining flowing lines with richly contoured surfaces to achieve a combination of suppleness and power. It also provides excellent aerodynamic capabilities without compromising the functional elements of a pickup truck, making it extremely capable of supporting the most active lifestyles, in both leisure and work. The premium quality of the vehicle is brought out through the diamond motif applied to the DRL [daytime running lights], LED headlamp system, and LED rear combination lamp system. Stylish aluminum air dams mesh seamlessly with the vehicle's flowing shape, giving appeal to its functional pedigree and safety performance," the press release continues.

For more information, click here

Mitsu GR-HEV 3 II

Mitsu GR-HEV 4 II

Mitsu GR-HEV 2 II

 

Comments

In Light of Mitsubishi's Prototype which is going to be a diesel/Hybrid. Exxonmobil just released a study paper saying diesel engines will surpass Petrol (gas engines) in the next
20yrs.
http://www.exxonmobil.com.au/Corporate/files/news_pub_eo.pdf

@Robert Ryan
I only 'glossed' over that link.

When I get time I'll have a better read.

Seems very interesting.

The article states, incorrectly, that England has high fuel prices. England actually has high fuel TAXES. Their refiners pay the same price for crude oil that all the other refiners do worldwide. American taxpayers until recently have rejected their government bumping up the fuel taxes. Now there are people in Washington DC who want to raise your fuel taxes again to pay for green-car subsidies, commuter rail and electric cars. If you love your HD pickups, let your Congressman know how you feel about that! Or you can wait until we have high fuel taxes like England.

@Papa Jim
20-30 years ago I would have supported your view.

But, you need better transport infrastructure, this includes road maintenance. The fairest way to pay for this is by the "mile". Fuel taxes the heaviest user both in weight and usage.

You aren't paying enough tax to support your road network. Bridges and highways conditions are gradually declining.

That does sound unpalatable what I just wrote, but its the truth.

Is the US is already borrowing money to fix potholes. You just can't keep on borrowing.

I can see some more flak from this comment.

@Big Al

Despite all of their belly-aching, the US taxing authorities took in a record-high amount of revenue last year in the form of taxes and fees. This is not about the govm't not having enough money for bridges and roads. They do have to make intelligent spending decisions, which is probably above their pay grade. Fuel taxes affect the poor and middle classes in America the worst, and I presume this is true in the UK as well. I respectfully repeat: England's fuel costs are no higher than anyone else's--their fuel taxes are.

Until there are vast improvements in fuel economy from compacts to big rigs, taxing by the mile is not a good idea in my opinion. There needs to be an incentive for people to think about fuel efficiency when buying a new car or truck. Hitting people in the wallet who are trying to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their fuel consumption buy choosing a fuel efficient vehicle is not the way. Taxing the consumable is. I will agree that when the taxes on gas aren't paying the bills to cover infrastructure maintenance or improvements, the taxes should go up. I'm not suggesting a ban on F-350's, but if you want to haul your cigarette boat back and forth to the lake you have to pay to play. If the taxes get out of hand for those who NEED bigger vehicles like farmers or construction workers, let them get a break when filing annually with the IRS, otherwise continue to tax the consumable (at a higher rate if need be).

One other benefit in weight saving technology that helps for better MPG's also has a secondary benefit that is often not thought of. That is less wear and tear on roads and bridges.

My '02 F-150 SuperCrew doesn't get good gas mileage, so when I'm not hauling a load or my family, I'm usually on one of two motorcycles that I own. I also commute to work on a bicycle when the weather and my schedule permits. The fact that I only have 64,000 miles on an eleven year old truck,shows that I minimize my time in the gas guzzler. I've even gone so far as to think of reducing my commute when choosing a place to live. When my wife and I built a new house last year, we also made sure our commutes were reduced. I now have a 1.5 mile (3 minute) commute and my wife has a 13 mile (25 minute) commute. Every little victory here and there adds up. Tax me by the mile and my Cannondale will get used more that the F-150 and the CBR1000RR combined. Just saying.

@Brian in NC--Good to hear your viewpoint, Brian. So, if I understand you correctly, the remedy for a government that wastes our tax dollars, is to give them more tax dollars... Hmm. Part of my beef with the Washington crowd lecturing us about gas mileage and green issues is the fact that these very same officials travel around the country in personal jets and fleets of SUVs while they take a stand for bambi and higher gas taxes. Washington took in a record amount last year. They can do better with what they have.

@Papa Jim... Let me be more clear. I'm not at all in favor of more taxes when our government wastes so much of what we give them. I'm not suggesting a tax increase at all. But the fact is, as cars/trucks become more fuel efficient, unless the number of cars on the road continues to grow more than our vehicles become efficient, we could be in a scenario where net fuel consumption goes down in the US. In theory, tax revenue could diminish if the percentage is left unchanged. Not a bad thing for the US to use less gas, except for when it comes to our current method of paying for our infrastructure. With that said, many of our elected officials are already looking for additional revenue to close the gap or to make sure revenue continues to grow despite fleets with improved MPG's. One of the first things proposed to combat gas tax revenue decline is this mileage tax. Rather than generate this additional tax that bills you for miles traveled, I propose increasing the percentage of gas tax paid instead of an additional tax based on mileage. If you buy a fuel sipper vs. gas guzzler it would be possible for your annual fuel consumption cost to drop, just a larger portion would be for taxes rather than for the fuel it's self. Drive a hog, you pay more.

I hope my point is now more clear?

@George: Check the posted wheelbase; it's very, VERY close to a Wrangler's In fact, I think it's 2 inches shorter than the Wrangler Unlimited.

Speaking on the body, the body of the Wrangler is several inches narrower than this almost-truck. Part of this is obviously so that the center of gravity is lower and more between the wheels. The higher top of the Wrangler is insignificant towards the center of gravity when the soft-top is installed though the fiberglass top will add about 150 pounds above the 'belt line'.

There is a difference when comparing wheelbase to overall length and width of a pair of vehicles.

@Brian in NC---yes, you're clear, unfortunately. We don't need to have our rulers in Washington being so prescriptive about our behavior. The more they do it, the worse it gets. Take a look at the most government-regulated industries and they are all basket cases. Banking needed a major bailout during the last five years (very regulated, ditto for Detroit and Big 3). Just over 100 years ago they ran the entire federal government on less than 500 million dollars per year. They can't run a hot dog stand without screwing it up. And you suggest that these guys dictate to me what kind of car or truck I can drive. Not for me. Thanks for explaining your viewpoint though.

No matter how you look at it, this Mitsubishi--while not too bad looking--is still much bigger than it needs to be; it could be a full 25% smaller in height and width and probably still be a highly effective SUT while perhaps improving fuel mileage by that same 25%. Six feet tall and six feet wide is simply unnecessary no matter where you live unless you have absolute need for off-road capability and frequent carry oversized loads that simply won't fit in a smaller bed. In other words, as long as the bed is no less than 4' wide--capable of carrying a sheet of wallboard flat--and maybe 6' long with the tailgate down to support an 8' load (such as that same sheet of wallboard) then anything wider and taller is simply excess; excess size and excess fuel used on a daily basis.

@DWFields
"Six feet tall and six feet wide is simply unnecessary no matter where you live unless you have absolute need for OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY and frequent carry OVERSIZED LOADS "

You have described the requirements for a lot of Asia where this will be mainly sold.

I like this new design of mitsubishi pick truck. By the way, We also have a constant supply of quality used pickup trucks arriving in stock from existing Pickuptrucksdirect customers looking to renew their vehicle. For more infor visit http://www.pickuptrucksdirect.co.uk/used-pickup-trucks.html

@Denver Mike--Being a Mitsubishi owner for 14 years the problems with Mitsubishis is not the quality, but the cost and availability of replacement parts. I had an 85 Might Max pickup single cab with 8 foot bed for over 14 years. I used that truck to the fullest hauling buiding material and creek rock. The Max took anything that I would throw at it, it was a tough little truck. The downside was replacement parts which even when it was 2 years old required going to the Mitsubishi dealer or Dodge dealer and ordering parts such as a catalytic converter or fuel pump which could not be obtained by an auto parts store. Midas did not have catalytic converters for any Max from 86 and before. How about $600 for a catalytic converter and $300 for a fuel pump (just the part and not labor) and that was in the early 1990's. Another thing is there were not many Mitsubishi dealers around 20 years ago and even less today. I would not buy a Mitsubishi product again just based on parts and service. Again I liked the truck but not the scarcity and high price of parts which made Toyota and Honda parts look cheap in comparison, which at the time we had my wife's 77 Accord which she bought new and which I occassionally bought parts for till we parted with it in 1994 after 17 years of faithful service with the tin worm winning the final battle.

@Robert Ryan: Except for the fact this thing simply doesn't have the load VOLUME capacity that almost all other pickup trucks have.

You also misquoted me because something that big doesn't have the same off-road capability as the Jeep. It would have to go around places the Jeep can go through.

I hate when things are taken out of context; they totally change the meaning of the statement.

Comparing the Jeep to a full-sized truck has the Jeep capable of going places that full-sized truck can't.
Comparing the Jeep to the Mitsi above, it's as big in width as a full sized truck which means there are some places it won't be able to go as easily as a Jeep (Wrangler) while the bed in that thing can't hold nearly as much as even the pickups boasting a 4.5-foot bed.

Do I like the Mitsi? As I said, there are things to be said for the appearance; but its odd proportions across the board make it unlikely I would want one.

@DWFields,
Has a Load capacity (2,300lb)for the current production vehicle. If its to be sold in Asia (answer Definitely Yes)it needs to be fairly stout Off Road like the current Mitsubishi Triton.
Not as good as a true SUV like the Jeep, but it ticks a lot of boxes for use in Asia. You will never see an Asian spec Mitsu Pickup in the US.
The type of small Pickup you want would be car based one from South America. None of the Asian players make one. The Triton tested has the same smallish tray. Ute trays are a lot longer.
http://www.caradvice.com.au/56503/mitsubishi-triton-road-test-and-review/
"You will be hard pressed to find a work site the Triton wouldn’t be able to traverse. We tested the Triton off-road over some pretty serious terrain and it simply walked over anything thrown at it. We were graced with some pretty wild weather that filled ruts with mud and debris and at no point the Triton felt as if it was struggling."

@DWFields as far as a Jeep Pickup and a Mitsubishi Pickup goes I would put my money on the Mitsubishi. Unlike Jeep Mitsubishi has had considerable success at the Paris/Dakar Rally Raids winning 11 times. Mitsubishi Pickups are very common in Asia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakar_Rally#Cars

@Robert Ryan: Do you see the Jeep even entering the Dakkar Ralley? Sure, anybody can build a desert runner--the Cooper Mini has now won it two years in a row. Doesn't say much about that Mitsubishi, does it?

You are also very definitely taking my comments out of context as I am comparing the Jeep Wrangler to a Concept Mitsubishi which isn't even on the road yet, so all of your arguments about "the Mitsubishi truck does this... The Mitsubishi truck does that..." are totally invalid. You don't and CAN'T know what the Mitsubishi concept shown above can and will do. This also means that the 3-year-old review of the Triton is worthless (even though a photo of a Triton is used for comparison) as the bed on the concept is visibly much smaller. It reminds me of a large-sized Subaru Baja which, as we all know, was such a popular success. NOT!

So your whole argument is based on trying to equate a purpose-built pickup truck to a concept people carrier with a bed by the same manufacturer. It simply doesn't work. I owned a Mitsubishi pickup truck back in 1983; I happened to like it. That doesn't mean I like this thing because quite honestly it's almost useless as a truck. I can't carry 20-25 8-foot-long event tables in the back; I probably couldn't even carry one. If it wore a 5-foot bed with a drop tailgate maybe I could. Even my old Mitsubishi Sport (same truck as the D-50 Sport) could have carried those tables. Maybe this thing could carry a refrigerator--upright and only if it does include some sort of tie downs-- or a washing machine (but not a dryer at the same time). I'd rather have that old '83 Mitsubishi Sport instead.

@DWFields,
Not really. The "Mini" was a BMW3 chassised "Mini" with a 3 Litre diesel as much as a funny car as Robby Gordon's "Hummer"
To win 11 times when you are not a huge corporation is impressive.
Jeep Wranglers are primarily NA Specific. Jeep SUV's are the vehicle that Fiat is pushing globally.
The Mitsubishi concept has to HAVE as a production vehicle a range of bed types if it is to be a successor to the Triton.

The irony of all of it is that Jeep is pushing the Cherokee as a global platform because it already is based on a global platform = Mercedes G class.

@Lou: Give it up; you're not even addressing the points I'm making about a Jeep Wrangler vs ANY full-sized pickup truck. I've driven my 4-door Wrangler in a local off-road park and watched as more than one full-sized pickup truck simply could not maneuver through the forest as readily--frequently having to make multi-point turns to go through parts of the trail where a much shorter wheelbase has the advantage and even had to go AROUND some areas that were simply too narrow for a full-sized truck.

When I say a Jeep can go places a full-sized truck can't, I'm not talking about racing, I'm talking about getting to the destination through otherwise unimproved terrain. Sure, a truck can power through some of it, but that huge size and long wheelbase makes some locations simply inaccessible.

@DWFields the ones that are sold here are used for rock crawling etc ,that a Pickup is not as capable of doing.

@DWFields - Chill dude. I wasn't refering to the truck versus Jeep debate. The small truck guys have been hammered lately in the big versus small debate and as you may have noticed, I've been on the "Global" side of the debate.
I was agreeing with Robert Ryan in as much as the fact IS ...... the Jeep Wrangler platform is primarily North American. Jeep has tried to gain acceptance like Toyota, Range Rover Etc. but with limited success. The Mercedes based Cherokee has been the one getting the global push.
I'm not naive nor am I brand/size loyal enough to even attempt to compare a Jeep to a 22 foot long pickup.
Please bark up a different tree. I'm not the "big" dog that has been peeing on your fence posts.

@DWFields
Over here the Grand Cherokee recieved the 4x4 of year honours for the diesel version. This is quite an achievement, the article stated that the Discovery would have got it except the Jeep was much cheaper.

All Jeeps are very good off roaders, but like where Lou lives and I live vehicles like Jeeps are used by town people. The Mercedes platform with the variable suspension is what made the Jeep Grand Cherokee a good off roader, not Jeep.

A 200 Series Landcruiser and our midsizers are better able to move around in this type of territory and carry what you need for survival.

The comparison between a Jeep and a pickup would be interesting. But a midsizer or even a full sizer can do what most of what a Jeep can, but a Jeep can do less of what a pickup can. This has nothing to do with off roading and doesn't take away from Jeeps off road ability.

Well, at least we're now on the same page.

I do know the Jeep Grand Cherokee is winning awards and even finally taking some of the shine off the Mercedes rigs; but people who buy Wranglers on average buy them almost exclusively for the off-road capability, though I will also acknowledge that the Wrangler Unlimited has definitely opened up the market for those "soccer moms" who want to be 'different'. I have a Wrangler Unlimited and my wife and I have decided we will always have a Wrangler-based vehicle in our 'stable' for as long as they are made, though I'm strongly considering sending my '08 off for the Brute Double Cab pickup mod (cheaper than buying one new). That way our second vehicle, rather than being a full-sized pickup truck could be a more economical toy/commuter car for fun and light shopping.

@PapaJim: Quote:"The article states, incorrectly, that England has high fuel prices. England actually has high fuel TAXES."

One thing the UK people get for those high fuel taxes is roads in much better condition than many of ours. Trade off? They don't need cars with as rugged a suspension on average as we require in the States.

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The Mitsubishi Group is a group of autonomous Japanese multinational companies covering a range of businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark, and legacy.

This is the most rediculous design ever of a truck ... just take mommies SUV and chop the back end off ... this makes the avalanche look macho!
This truck is useless for work, utilty, anything you need to do with a truck!
Either you people should fire the designers or yourselves for putting such a pile of garbage on the market!



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