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Geneva 2013: Mitsubishi GR HEV concept
The weird, wonderful world of concept cars rarely caters to the pick-up truck enthusiast. This is unfair. Why can’t the farmers, the scaffolders, the medium-sized-game-hunters of this planet dream how their daily load-lugger might look, unfettered by the constraints of production and crash tests and, y’know, reality?
Enter Mitsubishi with its ute-tastic GR-HEV concept. This diesel-electric hybrid previews how the L200’s replacement - due in a couple of years - might look, and represents pretty much the most exciting development on Planet Pick-Up since May and Clarkson trundled a Hilux to the North Pole.
Underneath the extravagant concept frippery lurks a production-viable drivetrain, with Mitsubishi’s 2.5-litre turbodiesel joining an electric motor that drives the front wheels. Though it can run briefly on electric power alone, the GR-HEV doesn’t boast such an electric-focused set-up as the the Outlander PHEV, which will manage over 50 miles on electric power alone when it reaches UK roads later this year. But by pick-up standards it’d be a veritable eco-revolution: Mitsubishi claims real-world emissions below 150g/km of CO2.
Here’s hoping this is more than just a blue-sky concept: Mitsu promises the next L200 will take its styling cues from this GR-HEV - and let’s be honest, the pick-up truck market needs a design kick up its blocky backside.
That said, the GR-HEV’s tall, squished rear deck might need a minor rethink if future Mitsubishi-driving hunting parties are planning on gunning down anything larger than a couple of small squirrels…