With technical support from Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMAL), Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia (TMR Australia) will enter a plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV in the iconic Australasian Safari, which takes place in Western Australia from 19-27 September.
It will be the first plug-in hybrid four-wheel drive officially entered in an Australian motorsport event – including the Safari, which is considered one of the most demanding off-road endurance rallies in Australia.
Experienced local driver and co-driver team of Steve Glenney and Bernie Webb will put the TMR Australia plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV through its paces during the nine-day outback event.
The Outlander PHEV will compete in class A1 for production vehicles, in a category specially created for hybrid or dual powered vehicles.
TMR Australia’s Australasian Safari entry marks the third international off-road rally outing for an Outlander PHEV since its launch in late 2012. Previously, the Outlander PHEV’s all-terrain performance and durability have been tested in the Thailand, Cambodia Asia Cross Country Rally, which the Mitsubishi SUV successfully completed in 2013 and 2014.
TMR Australia Outlander PHEV Safari Team Principal Alan Heaphy said the Australasian Safari is a challenging event that demands stamina and endurance from competitors and vehicles alike.
Competing in Australasian Safari production class A1, the Outlander PHEV will be built to meet FIA specification with only minor modifications made for durability and safety.
To help it withstand the punishing conditions, the Outlander PHEV will have extra underbody and frontal protection, reinforced suspension arms and strut towers along with competition brake pads, rally tyres and springs with adjustable dampers for added strength and durability.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV. It uses Mitsubishi Motors’ advanced electric vehicle technology by combining a 2.0L MIVEC petrol engine with high output 60kW twin front and rear motors, high capacity 12kWh drive battery and regenerative braking system for maximum efficiency and performance.
Mitsubishi Motor Corporation will support the TMR Australia Outlander PHEV Safari entry by sending three plug-in hybrid specialist engineers to Western Australia for technical assistance during the gruelling seven day event, which will cover more than 2,500 competitive kilometres through sand, salt plains, dry river beds and rugged desert tracks.
The 2014 Australasian Safari concludes in Kalbarri – 600 kilometres north of Perth – on Saturday 27 September.