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Mitsubishi adds sporty GSR to Outlander PHEV range

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GSR adds Bilstein suspension to line-up

9 Oct 2020

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has released its new MY21 Outlander PHEV line-up with the mid-sized plug-in SUV gaining a new sports oriented model featuring a Bilstein suspension set-up.


Officially dubbed the GSR, the new sports model features all of the same mechanicals as the other PHEV variants but is underpinned by a new Bilstein suspension arrangement designed to make the Outlander PHEV more dynamically capable.


Speaking to GoAuto at the virtual media launch of the new Outlander, MMAL product strategy senior manager Owen Thomson hoped the GSR would broaden the Outlander PHEV’s appeal and in doing so, broaden its customer base.


“We’ve introduced some Bilstein suspension for this particular grade to give it a sportier feel and that fits with the rest of the specification of the car as well,” he said.


“We know there’s a bunch of medium SUV buyers out there who also like the combination of the practicality and versatility of an SUV but actually like something a bit sportier to drive than your typical SUV.


“The reason we put this suspension on PHEV rather than other model Outlanders is because PHEV has always been the most powerful variant of Outlander, so now we see it as a natural fit.”


To match the new inverted struts and beefier shock absorbers, the GSR’s spring rates have also been tweaked front and rear to ensure a sportier but composed ride and sharper handling.


Priced from $52,490 plus on-road costs, the new sports offering brandishes a few unique visual cues inspired by the now-defunct Outlander Black Edition including a black roof, roof rails, mirror caps, rear spoiler, front and rear skidplates, darkened radiator grille, front air ducts and tailgate garnish as well as exclusive two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels.


The darkened theme is continued within the interior too with a black roof lining and A-pillars with contrasting red stitching throughout.


Standard equipment meanwhile includes microsuede seat upholstery with synthetic

leather bolster, power adjustable driver’s seat, heated folding door mirrors, cargo blind, leather door trim inserts, privacy glass, front parking sensors, electric tailgate and eight-speaker sound system.


Three colours will be offered on the GSR, those being Starlight (white), Titanium (grey) and Red Diamond however the new variant will be limited to just 150 examples nationally until at least the end of March 2021 due to the supply nature of the Bilstein suspension components.


Under the bonnet resides the same 157kW/332Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the rest of the PHEV range which has been carried over unchanged from the 2020 model, including the 13.8kWh battery.


As a result, MMAL still claims an all-electric range of around 54km, an all-electric top speed of 135km/h and a combined fuel consumption of 1.9 litres per 100km.


Charge times from empty to 100 per cent meanwhile are pegged at 6.5 hours when using a household socket, 3.5 hours when using a home wallbox or up to 80 per cent in 25 minutes when using a DC fast charger.


Once again opening the Outlander PHEV range is the ES which has been upgraded for 2021 to include all of the standard safety gear previously included on the ES ADAS (axed for 2021) – lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam.


In essence, the outgoing ES ADAS has just had a name change and this is reflected too in the MY21 ES’ $47,990 price tag – exactly the same as the ES ADAS.


Standard equipment on the base model – and included or built on in the GSR and top spec Exceed – includes dual zone climate control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, rearview camera, Bluetooth with voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, LED daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights, rain sensing wipers, hill start assist, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic high beam, black cloth seat trim, DAB+ digital radio, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather steering wheel.


MMAL also made the call to remove the roof rails from the ES for better variant differentiation between the ES and Exceed.


On the topic of the flagship, the Exceed ($56,490) has been carried over completely unchanged for 2021 save for the addition of EVPS auxiliary power supply functions, essentially vehicle-to-grid and “islanding” capabilities via a bi-directional charger.


Standard kit on the Exceed therefore reads the same as last year’s model and adds – in addition to GSR – self-levelling LED headlamps with washers, LED foglights, silver roof rails, electric sunroof, outer scuff plates, TomTom satellite navigation, chrome interior and exterior trim lining, electric heater, speed limit information display, EV remote control app and leather seat upholstery with synthetic leather bolsters.


In terms of safety, both the GSR and Exceed once again build on the standard spec of the ES, with the former adding blind spot warning, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert and front parking sensors while the latter adds an ultrasonic misacceleration system and a surround-view monitor.


MMAL were also quick to stipulate that the MY21 Outlander PHEV is covered by its new 10-year Diamond Advantage warranty with the existing eight-year/160,000km battery warranty being carried over.


The triple diamond brand has sold 8421 Outlanders so far this year ending September – accounting for 7.8 per cent of the sub-$60,000 medium SUV segment – with around five per cent of those being PHEV variants.


Mr Thomson said he hoped to improve the PHEV’s sales share however he was reluctant to share an idealistic figure.


“We’re hoping to grow that (five per cent), particularly now that we can see things are changing in the market place,” he said.


“We don’t publicise our particular goals and share targets – we have our own internal goals we want to get to.”


2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV pricing*

ES (a) $47,990
GSR (a) $52,490
Exceed (a) $56,490

*Excludes on-road costs

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