Delayed U.S. Launch For Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Now Set For April 2016

Any mention of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV needed to be followed by, "It's still coming," by company officials. Now there's a new launch date, but this one seems pretty likely.

Mitsubishi's U.S. PR Manager Alex Fedorak told Autoblog this week at the Chicago Auto Show that he's confident the Outlander PHEV will be at the company's U.S. dealers in April 2016. It's a long way from the Outlander plug-in's fall 2012 launch at the Paris Motor Show, and the original targets of sometime in 2014 that followed.

After solving battery quality and supply problems, though, Mitsubishi is now focusing on giving U.S. dealers a facelifted Outlander PHEV that'll probably look something like Outlander PHEV Concept S shown last year in Paris. That concept's front and rear ends were clearly influenced by the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept just shown again Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show.

Even when it comes, Fedorak said the Outlander PHEV is expected to make up a very small portion of Outlander sales. Unless that's a hint it'll be priced far, far higher than an equivalent Outlander, that could be a cautious projection on Mitsubishi's part given the Outlander will pretty much only be competing with the front-drive Ford C-Max Energi and the much larger and expensive Volvo XC90 T8.

Those of you interested in a five-seat plug-in SUV should mark your calendars, though. Maybe even in ink this time.

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