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Mitsubishi's eX Concept is the new ASX

Pure electric, 4WD and a 250-mile range, the eX will arrive in 2020

First the Audi e-tron Quattro, then the Tesla Model X and now the Mitsubishi eX concept, pure electric SUVs are currently the plat du jour.

Revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, the eX has a two-fold purpose for Mitsubishi – to preview an all-electric model bound for showrooms in 2020, and to hint at the next-generation, Nissan Qashqai-sized ASX’s styling direction.

Let’s start with the latter, because even without its canary yellow paint job, the eX would be a striking thing to behold. A development of the XR PHEV II concept shown at the Geneva show in March, it crams in enough creases and design cues to make a Bauhaus architect weep. This time around there’s a blanked off grille with no need for engine cooling, and a blacked-out C-pillar creating a suspiciously Range Rover Evoque-esque floating roof effect.

The interior is fortunately more soothing on the eye with multiple screens in the dash, centre console and instrument cluster replacing the need for physical buttons altogether. There’s also an augmented reality windscreen that can overlay projected information onto your real surroundings.

Under the Transformers bodywork is a next-generation electric powertrain consisting of a 45kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor with two 94bhp motors, one on each axle. Range is said to be in the region of 250 miles.

It’s not complete finger in the wind stuff from Mitsubishi, either. A spokesman told us a pure electric SUV like this will make production by 2020, with a PHEV plug-in hybrid – a smaller brother to the Outlander EV – arriving even sooner than that. 

It’s a pretty standard formula for a concept car these days – take one bold design, add a forward-thinking powertrain and hopefully the world’s media work themselves into a froth. But it does show that Mitsubishi is a company on the rise and it’s not afraid to get ahead of the competition.

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