What are buggies going to look like in 20 years? Mitsubishi has an idea, and it’s calling the Mitsubishi Mi-Tech, an open-top SUV that has been stripped of doors and possesses a gas-powered turbine engine. All that to say: they’re going to be badass.
The Mi-Tech was teased a few weeks ago, but the full release confirms all the exciting speculation we’d seen at the start of October. There’s a hell of a lot going on here, so we’ll start off with Mitsubishi’s press release to whet your appetite:
The MI-TECH CONCEPT was built to be “small plug-in hybrid electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind.” This concept car embodies the MMC brand statement “Drive Your Ambition” with a lightweight, compact, new PHEV drivetrain, a four-motor electric 4WD system, and advanced driver assist and preventive safety technologies — all packed into the small-sized electrified SUV.
The power generator in the new PHEV drivetrain is a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator in place of the traditional gasoline engine. As environmental awareness grows and downsizing progresses, the concept explores the technological proposition to plug the PHEV drivetrain into a small SUV. The gas turbine engine-generator has a powerful output for its size and weight.
Turbines are mechanically simpler than a traditional ICE engine and use the pressure from exploding fuel to turn a turbine and produce thrust. It’s a linear force, not a piston engine’s rotational force. So, the Mi-Tech isn’t totally electric, but it is electrified.
I’ll admit: the exterior of the Mi-Tech is a little busy and a little clunky. I’m not saying it’s terrible, but it does kind of feel like I’m looking at a child’s elaborate drawing of their ideal car. Especially the front grille; it’s pretty messy when looking at actual photos of the prototype and not just concept renderings.
— Steve Fowler (@SteveFowler) October 23, 2019
There are some good shapes going on in there, though. The T-shaped headlights are, frankly, really fucking cool. The copper accents on the front fascia would look fantastic if they weren’t surrounded by the mesh-looking grille. And the windshield looks pretty slick.
The interior makes up for the exterior, though. There are almost no buttons on this bad boy, with a digital instrument cluster and a huge heads-up display taking centre stage. Which is probably for the best. If you’re going off-roading, you don’t want a bunch of grit getting caked in all your buttons and knobs.
As cool as it is, though, there are no plans to bring this thing into production. We can just nod and appreciate.