The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid made its U.S. debut at the 2016 New York auto show, and at the time Mitsubishi said the eco-friendly SUV would go on sale here before the end of the 2016 after multiple delays. But the launch has been pushed back once again.
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid won't go on sale until Summer 2017, reports HybridCars. Mitsubishi is delaying the launch "in order to meet a level of competitiveness that will exceed customer expectations in the United States," spokesperson Alex Fedorak told the website.
This latest delay means the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid will be three years late, and that's assuming Mitsubishi doesn't delayed the launch again. The Japanese carmaker originally scheduled the model's U.S. launch for early 2014 but gradually pushed that back further and further. The launch has been put off so many times that the Outlander has undergone a mid-cycle refresh in the interim.
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid shown in New York was broadly similar to the models already on sale in Japan and Europe, although Mitsubishi noted that it was a "prototype," and that U.S. specs hadn't been finalized. It used the same powertrain as Japanese and European models, consisting of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors. One motor helps the gasoline engine drive the front wheels, while the second drives the rear wheels, creating a 'through the road' hybrid all-wheel-drive system. U.S.-spec models may get a different battery pack and definitely won't get the DC fast-charging system available in other markets.
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has been a fairly strong seller in the markets where it is available, but Mitsubishi missed the opportunity to make it the first plug-in hybrid SUV available in the U.S. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo now offer plug-in hybrid SUVs, although they are all luxury models that the Outlander will likely undercut in price... if it ever gets here.