Following in the footsteps of innovative architectures and concepts that have nurtured the “non-mainstream” tag for Mitsubishi Motors over forty years of presence in Europe, the smart Concept AR offers a unique blend of genres and technologies – SUV / MPV architecture, BSG mild hybrid drivetrain – that will be real-life tested with visitors of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, after a similar exercise at the Brussels Motor Show early January.
SUV + MPV – Free spirit
Unveiled in November 2013 at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, Concept AR (for “Active Runabout”) is a next-generation compact MPV which combines SUV sportiness with MPV roominess.
Stretched over 4350 mm, Concept AR’s clean-cut lines make for an unusual proposition in the marketplace, lifting up the spirit of essentially functional MPVs with its commanding driving position, powerful front design, high wraparound grille / headlamps, large skid plates and 3D-sculptured wheel arches.
At the same time, Concept AR renews the SUV genre with its long wheelbase / stubby nose proportions, sharpened by the upswept side character lines, the technical outline of its window line, the slim front grille with its bold diamond-cut pattern or the air outlets crafted into the rear pillars which serve to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Last but not least, like all three Tokyo Motor Show MMC concept cars, Concept AR features the brand’s new visual identity which will be gradually introduced with each new Mitsubishi Motors’ crossover and SUV over the coming years. Meant to symbolise the functionality and reassuring safety inherent to SUVs, this visual identity is made of vertical elements (either chromed or lighted) bracing the front end of the vehicle(s) either side of the grille.
Interior design – Soothing
Inside, Concept AR cleanly wraps occupants in simple and soft styling which does away with meaningless features, all meant to create a soothing ambiance.
Distinguished by soft and rounded lines the spacious cabin offers three alternative seating patterns giving generous seating room for six occupants, for four occupants with a sizeable luggage space or for a generous common space between the 2nd and 3rd row seats when they are turned to face each other.
Beyond the traditional MPV versatile seating arrangement, great care has also been given to providing enough individual personal space and also to the distance between fellow occupants – for instance, a passenger might pull out the tablet-type interface from its home slot in the side of the cabin and link up with the outside world through the internet or check out their emails and other personal information.
Within the compact dimensions of the body, the relatively long wheelbase provides a cabin that is open and airy. This is amplified by the gently bowed Crystal Lighted Roof from the centre of which indirect lighting provides passengers with soothing illumination.
The calming peacefulness of the cabin is further enhanced by gentle wind and other sounds emanating from slits in the side trim. With features such as easily detachable cup holders and a tablet-type interface, this forward-thinking interior design brings together enhanced convenience and comfort.
Mild Hybrid – Lightweight + Smart
The front-wheel drive Concept AR is powered by a lightweight mild hybrid Belt-driven Starter and Generator system(BSG) featuring a 1.1-litre 3-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged MIVEC petrol engine mated to a low output BSG torque circuit with a 48V lithium-ion battery.
The rear-mounted battery and converter work in cooperation to provide instant engine restarting after an idle-stop and to deliver gutsy torque assist under acceleration.
BSG is used to recover kinetic energy during regenerative braking to further improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions and to offer a pleasant experience to all on-board.
During its development, Concept AR has also been subject to an exhaustive weight reduction program targeting the engine and the hybrid system overall together with the more extensive use of high-tensile strength steel panels as already implemented in Mitsubishi Motors’ latest products (Outlander / Mirage) and also, of lightweight structural materials in strategic locations. This significant weight reduction also contributes significantly to the dynamic and environmental performances of the vehicle.
This weight reduction was extended to the no-frill design of the dashboard, seats and even the choice of upholstery trim. The result is a significant reduction in fuel consumption together with a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Active Safety Technology – Protect
Concept AR is equipped with Mitsubishi Motors’ advanced active safety connected technologies relying on next-generation information systems
These systems work in cooperation to anticipate and alert the driver about dangerous situations as well as to activate safety functions rapidly and accurately. Their main functions include:
- Rearward Blind Spot Vehicle Warning System
- Driving Safety Support System
- Auto Hi-beam
- Unintentional Vehicle Move Off Control
- Forward Collision Mitigation Braking (FCM)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
|L x W x H||4350 mm / 1780 mm / 1690 mm|
|Engine||Type:||1.1-litre in-line 3-cyl. direct-injection
|Max. output (net)||100 kW|
|Belt-drivenStarter and Generator||Max. output||10 kW (48V)|
|Battery||Capacity V||0.25 kWh (48V)|
|Drivetrain:||2WD (front-wheel drive)|
|Transmission||CVT with sub-transmission|