2014 Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

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It wasn’t long ago that Mitsubishi was known for producing some of the most desirable performance vehicles in the U.S. Lately, however, Mitsubishi has let that performance mantle slip, mostly selling not-that-bad crossover SUV s and a less-than-inspiring economy car . There’s been the promise of a next generation Evo for a while, but at least for now, it would seem then that Mitsubishi has lost its way, and the prevailing opinion seems to be that it’s only a matter of time before they fade away into obscurity.

While the fate of Mitsubishi may be uncertain, gamers may be getting a peek into the future with the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo, a car available exclusively in Vision Gran Turismo. Instead of just being a visual exercise though, Mitsubishi claims that this car was developed for the game by their actual design teams just like they would design a real life vehicle.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept.

Exterior

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Mitsubishi’s design team started with the design of the Concept XR-PHEV, a crossover SUV concept that was introduced in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show, and then, well, evolved it into a low, racy performance hatch. Considering that this is a car that’s based off of a concept and developed for a video game, it’s ridiculous in every way. It’s ridiculously low, ridiculously wide, has ridiculous bulges, and there’s even a ridiculous wing. It also looks pretty awesome, just in a ridiculous sort of way.

For a focused track monster that only exists in pixels though, the design is quite fitting. The high beltline and tiny windows give it a very sporty look, and it looks to me like some of the body work was inspired by DTM racers, which is very cool. If it were ever to go into production, a lot of what goes into making the whole look work would have to be changed, but that’s the luxury of a car that’s made for a video game. It can look as cool as they want it to without having to meet production standards.

What will most likely make it to production somewhere though is the grill, which Mitsubishi claims is a design study for the next generation of cars. The body panels are also made out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which in production would reduce weight and improve handling.

Drivetrain

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

While the looks are what will get most people’s attention, it’s the drivetrain that is the most important part of this concept.

Utilizing plug-in hybrid technology that Mitsubishi has spent a lot of time and money developing, the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution has both an engine and an electric motor. Power from both is routed through Mitsubishi’s dual clutch transmission (DCT), and their Super-All Wheel Control system is included to adjust how much power is routed to each individual wheel.

All combined, this should lead to a vehicle that has extremely quick power delivery and short shift times, as well as the ability to carve corners as fast as tire grip will physically allow. When not being driven hard, however, the fact that it’s a plug-in hybrid would allow the driver to save a good bit of money on fuel costs, as well as use the HOV lane while commuting.

Just a concept or vision of the future?

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

While the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution is almost guaranteed to never see production, what is much more likely to see production is the drivetrain. There isn’t much use for a plug-in hybrid while in-game, but Mitsubishi has hinted for a while that the next generation Evo is going to be a performance hybrid. Presumably, this is a preview of what we’ll be getting if or when that next generation Evo finally arrives.

The fear among enthusiasts about hybrids has always been that they will dull the driving experience, turning what was supposed to be a performance car into nothing more than an AWD Prius . Assuming that the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution is well received in-game, it could do a lot to assuage fears that the Evo has been neutered when the official announcement is finally made.

Competition

2013 Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept

While it was created just for Vision Gran Turismo, Mercedes actually produced a concept for the 2013 LA Auto Show. Though sleeker and less ostentatious than the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution, the Vision Vision Gran Turismo concept is still nearly impossibly low-slung and spits its 585 hp AMG V8’s fire out the back through an octuple exhaust.

If black ties, single malts, and Swiss timepieces are your style, then this classic SL-inspired racer will probably be an excellent choice, with power and handling that belie the Mercedes Mercedes Vision Gran Turismo’s gentlemanly looks. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a ride that’s a little bit more Fast and Furious, then you’ll probably be more interested in trading the Mercedes for the Mitsubishi.

2014 Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Rivaling the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution’s extreme looks, with its maniacal grin and stretched, racy styling, the Volkswagen Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo Concept is what would happen to the real-life Volkswagen Scirocco Volkswagen Scirocco if it got pulled into the bathroom at an LA nightclub and given loads of illegal stimulants. It’s the sports car that you wish Volkswagen would build, but you know they won’t, no matter how awesome you think it would be.

Luckily, it at least exists in-game, and players will be able to decide whether they prefer the XR-PHEV Evolution over the Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo any time they like. Which one proves to be faster around the track remains to be seen, but regardless of the outcome, it should be a heck of a fun race.

Conclusion

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

The Concept XR-PHEV Evolution won’t be hitting the road outside of Vision Gran Turismo anytime soon, but as a concept and as a marketing tool, it’s a great move. While weight will probably be an issue, the possibility of CFRP body panels could help with that. Outside of weight though, the idea of a plug-in performance hybrid actually sounds very appealing, allowing for both better performance and better fuel economy.

Assuming that gas prices continue to climb, performance cars are going to have to change to accommodate the need for greater efficiency, or drivers will be priced out of owning them. If Mitsubishi takes the drivetrain that it put together for this concept and uses it to produce a compelling next-generation Evo, then things may turn around for them. On the other hand, however, if Mitsubishi delays too long, the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution may end up being nothing more than a cool idea for a video game.

LOVE IT
  • Great looks
  • Advanced drivetrain
  • Possibly a precursor to the next Evo
LEAVE IT
  • Zero rearward visibility
  • Only exists in the virtual world for now
  • A production model would be exorbitantly expensive

Press Release

After Update 1.08 has been installed, the car can be purchased from the [Vision GT] area within the [CARS] section in "My Home" (here, you can also find the car’s presentation movie). Alternatively, it is also possible to obtain the car by completing a lap (regardless of the lap time) in the new Seasonal Event, available only for a limited time.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

About the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo
Mitsubishi Motors, a company with a spectacular history in races like the Dakar Rally and World Rally Championships (WRC), has developed a special concept model for Vision Gran Turismo: This is the “Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo”.

In the development of this special concept model, Mitsubishi Motors introduced their design team, Advanced Vehicle Research and Development Group, and Aerodynamic Engineering Development Group into this project in the same process they would normally follow to plan and develop real motorsports vehicles.

The styling of the car follows the basic concepts of the “MITSUBISHI Concept XR-PHEV” shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, while pouring in know-how gained from years of motorsports experience into its every detail. The result was the evolution of the concept into a stoic racing machine.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

The “Athlete Form” design concept was advanced further, emphasizing the driving features aggressively. The iconic front grill is a study of next generation Mitsubishi automobiles, and the shape that forms a wedge starting from the triple diamond mark is designed in the image of an athlete at crouching position on a starting line, evoking an intense image of tension and potential.

Utilizing advanced development technology from the Plug-in Hybrid EV System, the spontaneous power of the motor and powerful torque of the engine is transmitted through an 8 speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) to drive the 4 wheels. It’s overwhelming drive performance is controlled precisely with the S-AWC vehicle dynamics control system that distributes the drive force optimally to the 4 wheels, producing a handling characteristic that moves the car exactly as the driver desires.

In addition, the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body reduces weight and greatly contributes to its agility, and the downforce produced by the aerodynamic form of the front and rear diffusers produces excellent cornering performance. The large diameter 20 inch aluminum wheels gives an impression of a tough suspension system, and the powerful appearance of the front and rear fenders is in the image of toned muscles of a powerful athlete.

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept

We hope you enjoy this special concept model, packed with the sports spirit of Mitsubishi Motors.


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