Remember the Return of a Legend announcement Mitsubishi made back in January? Well it turns out the skeptics were right and the “legendary” SUV in question was nothing more than the Concept GC-PHEV up for another showing. Sporting the same exterior looks and interior features, the return proved to be just the plug-in hybrid’s official U.S. debut.

Mitsubishi says the Concept Grand Cruiser Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle previews the automaker’s future design language that’s due out for the 2016 model year. Surprisingly Mitsu says all of its models will be refreshed with the new looks for 2016. We’ll be getting our first official look at the production-ready design language at the New York Auto Show in April, as Mitsu says the new 2016 Outlander will break cover there.

Though we are bummed the Montero isn’t making a comeback, it is exiting that Mitsubishi will be revamping its entire lineup within a year’s time.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV.

  • 2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed auto
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    355
  • MPG(Hwy):
    35
  • Energy:
    Supercharged
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; AWD
  • Price:
    30000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The GC-PHEV has a bold, bulbous styling design that makes it large and very noticeable. The very tall belt line produces large sides, small windows, and proportionally small wheels. The front is equally large with its flat face and slim headlights. Out back, things are equally interesting and unconventional. The rear quarters are quite big and flow into the protruding rear tailgate. The small side windows flows into the rear window as well, keeping visibility constrained.

Both the front and rear lower valances are perched at high angles, helping in the GC’s off-road abilities.

Interior

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV Interior
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2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV Interior
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2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Interior
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Things inside the GC-PHEV are rather nice. The futuristic design not only looks great, but is also functional as well. The center console is covered in a glass panel as part of the Tactical Table – an infotainment system that works with smartphones to help create, collect, and exchange information with friends. The table’s high height also mirrors the high exterior belt line. The soft color tones in the cabin are accented by the deep orange trim color that adds character.

Up above, the roof is sectioned off in an X-pattern with glass panels between each leg, bringing a very open-air feel to the cabin. A large cargo area with a flat load surface complements the seating for four.

Drivetrain

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV Exterior
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Under the hood lies a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 making 355 horsepower. Since this is a plug-in hybrid, the engine is supplemented by a 94-horsepower electric motor. Everything is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Mated behind that is Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control full-time AWD system.

The powertrain offers an average of 35 mpg on the Japanese cycle, along with a 25-mile all-electric range.

Prices

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior
- image 616728

With this being a concept, there aren’t any prices attached to the vehicle. However, Mitsubishi is getting closer to releasing its Outlander Hybrid for sales in the U.S., and prices of that should be pretty competitive. Expect them to start around the $30,000 mark.

Competition

Porsche Cayenne Hybrid

2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid Exterior
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Like the GC-PHEV, the Cayenne Hybrid is powered by a gasoline engine supplemented by an electric motor. The gas engine puts out an impressive 333 horsepower from the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 while the electric motor produces 95 horsepower. All told, the system has 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque on tap. The sprint to 60 mph is a non-hybrid like 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 151 mph.

Pricing for the Cayenne Hybrid starts at $76,400.

Lexus NX 300h

2015 Lexus NX - First Drive High Resolution Exterior
- image 562628

In a much less costly category is the Lexus NX Hybrid. New for 2015, the NX is based off the Toyota RAV4 yet has all the luxuries expected on a Lexus. Power comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, Atkinson-cycle engine that only makes 154 horsepower. The Electric motor puts out another 40 horses that combine for a total system output of 194 horsepower. While its competition out gun it, the Lexus is still no slouch. The sprint to 60 takes a better-than-average-for-a-hybrid 8.3 seconds.

Pricing for the NX 300h starts at $40,645.

Conclusion

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior
- image 616716

The Mitsubishi GC-PHEV is an interesting vehicle, to say the least, though it doesn’t stand a chance at entering production. Expect its design cues and powertrain ideas to find their way to dealer lots, however. The GC-PHEV is more of a proof of concept and design execution than anything else. While we like what we see, we’ll have to see how the technology plays out once it hits the market.

  • Leave it
    • Won’t make production
    • Bulbous proportions
    • Can Mitsu put this technology in other vehicles?

Press Release

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today unveiled the futuristic Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The full-size SVU concept provides a glimpse at the brand’s new design language applied to a large vehicle.

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV
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The Concept GC-PHEV features bold, muscular styling, a powerful yet highly efficient 335 horsepower supercharged MIVEC V-6 engine/electric motor plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain, an 8-speed automatic transmission, Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) full-time all-wheel drive and advanced next-generation high-tech features.

A new technology incorporated in the Concept GC-PHEV is the Tactical Table, an innovative information system making connected car technology an interactive experience available to everyone inside the vehicle. When the driver or one of the passengers places their smartphone atop the Tactical Table, they can create, collect, exchange and share information with others using the Concept GC-PHEV’s communication system.

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior
- image 616728

Additional technological features of the Concept GC-PHEV include advanced safety systems such as Mitsubishi Motors "Connected Car" Technology, AR Windshield, Pedestrian Collision Mitigating Auto-braking, Rearward Blind Spot Vehicle Warning, Unintentional Vehicle Move Off Control, Driver Monitor and more.

"We brought the Concept GC-PHEV to Chicago because it showcases into our future technology and design themes," said MMNA Executive Vice President, Don Swearingen. "The Concept showcases aggressive styling and a level of refinement that will be coming to Mitsubishi vehicles. All of our 2016 model year vehicles will be refreshed with our new brand identity, starting with the 2016 Outlander, which will make its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April. The Concept GC-PHEV continues to tell the story we started telling at the LA Auto Show, and we think you’re going to like what is to come."

2015 Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 616727

Mitsubishi Motors finished 2014 with vehicle sales up 24.8 percent over 2013 – among the highest sales growth in the U.S. auto industry. That sales momentum carried over into January, which saw a 33.4 percent increase from January 2014 and was the 11th month of year-over-year sales increases.

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