• 2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept

    2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept
  • Reviews “Robust & Ingenious” design language
  • Front grille hides autonomous sensors
  • Lots of details, sci-fi vibe
  • Plenty of horizontal surfaces
  • Multiple digital displays
  • AI “coach” makes you a better driver
  • Three electric motors
  • AWD grip
  • Torque vectoring capabilities

Your electric SUV robot driving coach has arrived

The Tokyo Motor Show is nearly upon us, which means we’re preparing for a barrage of wild concepts and cool sci-fi weirdness. Mitsubishi is already getting on the action, unveiling its new e-Evolution a few weeks ahead of the big sheet pull. The design study is framed as a preview of forthcoming technology and exterior styling from the automaker, and includes a focus on all-electric propulsion mated with an AWD SUV body style. The e-Evolution also gets a few interesting driver assistance technologies, like an onboard AI that customizes various onboard systems to your preferences and will even coach you on how to be a better driver. The e-Evolution is just one of 12 vehicles Mitsubishi is bringing to the show, so we’ll have to see what else will make an appearance, but so far, the e-Evolution is one of the more ambitious concepts we’ve seen from Mitsu in a while.

Of course, we have to address the elephant in the room – the repurposed Evolution nameplate. Just last year, Mitsu killed off the Lancer Evo, the iconic rally-bred sedan that churned major terra in the WRC. Purists will undoubtedly balk at the thought of an all-electric, AI-infused SUV carrying the torch lit by that four-door monster, and rightfully so, but either way, it looks like change is inevitable here. Read on for the full details.

Updated 10/25/2017: The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept just debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show! Check out all the pics and details below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept.

Exterior

- * Previews “Robust & Ingenious” design language
- * Front grille hides autonomous sensors
- * Lots of details, sci-fi vibe

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Exterior
- image 740489
Reviews “Robust & Ingenious” design language
While certainly striking to look at, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept isn’t exactly the prettiest thing in the world

For starters, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept is a look at what the Japanese automaker has planned in terms of exterior styling and design. Mitsu has dubbed the design language as “Robust & Ingenious,” and seeks to combine snappy good looks, power, and functionality with off-roading agility and 4WD capability. It’s a fresh new approach for the company, which makes sense considering the degree to which Mitsubishi hopes to reinvent itself. But does it work?

To answer that, let’s start in front, where we find a fascia Mitsu describes as “Dynamic Shield.” This is composed of a black grille covered by glass, behind which hides an array of sensors and cameras, all of which are required to run the onboard autonomous systems. Just below the headlights, you’ll find a duo of intakes, which direct air through the bumper and into the wheel wells to help cool the brakes.

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Exterior
- image 740490
Torque vectoring capabilities
The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept is more like a compilation of small details and features that give it a futuristic, sci-fi kind of vibe

Moving towards the rear is a heavily angled windshield, which stretches into the hood and trunk to give the whole profile a sort of triangule shape. Subtle roof bars punctuate the edges of the roof, while short overhangs give it a sporty appearance. Small, fin-shaped intakes were added past the C-pillars to direct air through the rear bumper, enhancing the SUV’s aerodynamics in the process.

In back, there’s a hexagonal shape for the tail, which Mitsubishi says was inspired by the rear spare tire cover of the Mitsubishi Shogun, an older SUV model from the brand.

While certainly striking to look at, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept isn’t exactly the prettiest thing in the world. Rather, it’s more like a compilation of small details and features that give it a futuristic, sci-fi kind of vibe, which, of course, is to be expected considering the advanced interior technology features.

Interior

- * Plenty of horizontal surfaces
- * Multiple digital displays
- * AI “coach” makes you a better driver

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Interior
- image 740494
Plenty of horizontal surfaces
The Mitsubishi e-Evolution’s interior is a development of the Mitsubishi eX that we saw at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

In some ways, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution’s interior is a development of the Mitsubishi eX that we saw at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Once again, we find broad, horizontal surfaces, which stretch across the width of the vehicle to lend it a sense of spaciousness. Mitsubishi says that the lack of a traditional firewall (it’s an EV, remember?) opens up all sorts of interesting interior design possibilities. In addition to the interesting look, the e-Evolution mounts the large battery pack under the floor of the vehicle, lowering the car’s center of weight and optimizing interior space overall.

Digital interfaces abound, with several displays and the majority of the controls located on the center tunnel. The instrument panel gets a “floating” design to it, with the two-tiered display interface dividing pertinent driving information into the top section (Mitsubishi says the flat screen spread across the dash is used to display “environmental conditions, navigation and coaching information”), while the operational controls are below.

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Interior
- image 740493
Multiple digital displays
The instrument panel gets a “floating” design to it, with the two-tiered display interface dividing pertinent driving information up top and operational controls below

The automaker says this top/bottom attitude lends the driver an enhanced feeling of the vehicle’s “attitude” while driving, a characteristic particularly important for off-roading adventures. On either side of the large screen, you’ll find two smaller screens, which project images from a front- and rear-facing camera for better outward visibility. What’s more, the 360-degree panoramic window view supposedly gives passengers a sensation similar to being in a “jet fighter.”

In addition to the unique cabin design, the e-Evolution concept also gets some pretty weird and wild concept technology. First up, there’s an onboard AI that will “augment” the driver’s capabilities behind the wheel. Basically, Mitsubishi says this system incorporates a variety of sensors that monitor road conditions and traffic, “as well as the driver’s intent,” which we can only assume to be the intended line through a corner and inputs for the throttle and brakes. The system will then assist the driver with a coaching function, whereby the AI will monitor the driver’s skills and provide a personalized training program via voice messages and text messages on the dash to make them better.

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Exterior
- image 740492
AI “coach” makes you a better driver
In addition to the unique cabin design, the e-Evolution concept also gets some pretty weird and wild concept technology.

Mitsubishi also says there will be further sci-fi features on display at its booth, including an AI Personal Assistant and a Smart Speaker Demonstration.

Let’s start with the Personal Assistant, which will converse with passengers, and even be able to identify which passenger are speaking at any given time via voice recognition software, both through local processing and cloud-based processing. The system will then customize features to better suit the individual, as well as relay important information to the passengers, such as equipment failures and the current vehicle status. Voice command can also be used for the climate control, windshield wipers, headlights, and other similar features. Furthermore, the system can connect with various passenger devices for greater usability. For example, Mitsu says the system will connect to a drone to check out traffic conditions, or just to “give occupants a birds-eye view of the natural scenery they are passing through”.

Mitsu says the system will connect to a drone to check out traffic conditions, or just to “give occupants a birds-eye view of the natural scenery they are passing through.

Finally, there will be a Smart Speaker Demonstration that will utilize devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to connect to features for the car as well, for example, turning the headlights off and on, change the climate control in the cabin, and lock or unlock the doors.

Drivetrain

- * Three electric motors
- * AWD grip
- * Torque vectoring capabilities

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Exterior
- image 740878
Lots of details, sci-fi vibe
There are three electric motors total, which combine to create a 4WD system

Details on the e-Evolution’s drivetrain are a bit vague, but the tidbits we do have are rather interesting. To kick it off, Mitsu says motivation comes from a set of high-torque, high-performance electric motors juiced by a high-capacity battery system. There are three electric motors total, which combine to create a 4WD system. Up front is a single motor to drive both wheels, while two motors in back drive each of the individual rear wheels. The two rear motors also use something called Dual Motor Active Yaw Control to offer electronic torque vectoring, sharpening handling as a result. A complementary Super All-Wheel Control system makes the most of available grip.

Combined with a high degree of ground clearance, Mitsu contends this concept is a decent stab at off-roading goodness. On paper, sure, we’ll agree with that.

Combined with a high degree of ground clearance, Mitsu contends this concept is a decent stab at off-roading goodness.

Further details include electric brake calipers, which improve on the older hydraulic caliper design of modern cars.

If we’re honest, though, it’s all pretty basic stuff. We would have liked it if Mitsubishi provided us with a few numbers on battery capacity, range per charge, or even acceleration numbers, but that’s okay – this is just a concept, anyway. And, to be honest, it looks like the brand is on the right track so far. Now we’ll just have to see what happens on the production side of things.

Conclusion

2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 736469

While we’re still a little salty that Mitsubishi is turning one of our all-time favorite rally stars into an all-electric SUV driven by robots, we’ll try to be objective here. Indeed, this new concept seeks to combine various high-tech systems “seamlessly to deliver safe and enjoyable performance that mirrors driver intent under all weather conditions and on all surfaces.” That’s all well and good, but now its time to deliver. You see, Mitsubishi isn’t the only one playing around in this space, and while concepts like the e-Evolution show the automaker is headed in the right direction, it makes us wonder if it’s gonna have the right stuff to hang with the long list of rival automakers already putting these sorts of ideas into production. Audi is certainly one name that comes readily to mind.

Long story short – Mitsubishi can talk the talk. But can it walk the walk?

  • Leave it
    • Nothing terribly innovative or new presented
    • Looks an awful lot like previous Mitsubishi concepts
    • Competition is plentiful in this space
    • Rally fans will be disappointed

References

Mitsubishi Lancer

2008 - 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X High Resolution Exterior
- image 343926

Read our full review on the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

2015 Mitsubishi eX Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 649819

Read our full review on the 2015 Mitsubishi EX Concept.

2017 Nissan IMx Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 740404
2017 Nissan IMx Concept

Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

Press release

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) celebrates the world debut of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The all-electric, high-performance SUV embodies MMC’s new brand strategy under the new “Drive your Ambition” global tagline, a strategy that reflects an adventurous and progressive mindset for inspirational design and product.

The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a technical prototype to illustrate the strategic directions of a renewed MMC brand, incorporating the strengths of the SUV and EV with the ability to integrate new systems for a connected mobility customer experience.

Under this new ethos, MMC leverages its renowned pedigree of driving performance and reliability with breakthrough SUVs and crossovers. As a pioneer of electric vehicles, MMC will expand and accelerate its EV deployment, pushing the technological envelope with a tightly integrated system of artificial intelligence, connectivity and on-board and cloud computing.

"Robust & Ingenious": The design philosophy of Mitsubishi Motors

MMC has adopted a design philosophy under the title "Robust & Ingenious”.

“We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers’ desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully-considered functionality MMC is known for,” said MMC Head of Global Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto.

Robust & ingenious, the design language of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT, is a study in contrasts. MMC vehicles of the future will be genuinely tough and functional, but also clever, resourceful, style-setting and technologically advanced.

The design of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT

MMC has a long and strong heritage: When someone thinks of Mitsubishi Motors they are also reminded of its proven off-road performance and superior 4WD control. Now, the banner of superior, high-performance, 4WD control is carried forward by the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT. The design expresses a readiness to grip the ground with all four wheels as well as the agility of a high-performance, cross-country machine.

The face of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is a fresh take on MMC’s DYNAMIC SHIELD design although in this instance the black grille sits behind a glass cover, accentuated by blue lines, which also protects the advanced cameras and sensors required for its advanced driving technology. Large air intakes are located beneath the headlamps to direct cooling air to the electric brake calipers, while a sharply slanted front windshield and short overhangs give the MITSUBISHIe-EVOLUTION CONCEPT a unique side profile that is only possible with the advent of electric propulsion.

High ground clearance, short overhangs, strong shoulders and narrow hips project nimbleness and agility, while muscular tyres protrude at the four corners to communicate its powerful 4WD traction. Bars running from front to rear along either side of the roof enhance the vehicle’s muscular attitude, while air drawn-in past the C-pillar jet tailfins exits on either side of the rear bumper to aid the vehicle’s excellent aerodynamics.

The large hexagon shape at the rear draws inspiration from the spare tyre cover of the legendary Mitsubishi Shogun, one of the icons of MMC’s heritage and a stalwart of off-road driving.

Inside, the cockpit of the MITSUBISHIe-EVOLUTION CONCEPT gives a glimpse of what’s possible when the traditional firewall is dispensed with. Its instrument panel appears to float in front of the driver, adopting MMC’s trademark horizontal styling with the focus on information above the axis and on operation below. Acting like a level in an electronic viewfinder, the horizontal instrument panel makes it easier to sense the attitude of the vehicle while driving.

A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard displaying environmental conditions, navigation and coaching information. The large screen is flanked by two smaller screens, showing images from front and rear cameras, while panoramic glazing provides a near unobstructed 360-degree visibility for a feeling more akin to a jet fighter than a car.

The technologies of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT

EV system: The MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT uses high-performance electric motors, fed by a high-capacity battery system, to deliver the smooth, torque-rich responsiveness that is the trademark of EVs compared to petrol-powered vehicles. The drive battery is located under the floor mid-ship of the vehicle, providing a low centre of gravity for improved driving stability.

4WD system: For exceptional driving performance, the triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels complemented by a new Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system that couples two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring AYC unit. All of this is integrated into MMC’s unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system to greatly improve its cornering and traction performance. The brakes of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT responsively and precisely control the driving forces with the help of electric callipers that supersede conventional hydraulic brakes. The effects of the system can be felt and appreciated immediately, even at low speeds when G-forces are low. Whether driving around town, on motorways or winding roads, the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent.

AI system: The brain of the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that augments the driver’s capabilities. An array of sensors allows the AI system to instantly read changes in road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver’s intent. Seamlessly coordinating driver intent with vehicle performance, the system supports drivers of all abilities. By making it easier and safer to control the vehicle, the motoring experience is brought to a new level. A special coaching function allows the AI system to transfer knowledge to the driver and to unobtrusively enhance their driving expertise. After building a picture of the driver’s skill level, the system constructs a training program that provides advice through voice prompts and the large dashboard display. As a result, drivers of all abilities quickly experience a vehicle that behaves the way they want it, and soon they find themselves enjoying the driving experience to an even greater degree.

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