Get a whiff of this. Mitsubishi has put a new spin on the automotive fight to save the environment when it introduced a concept at the Tokyo motor show that makes the unexpected passing of wind a little less embarrassing.
As part of a new interior package its calls 'cocochi', the PX-Miev's upholstery incorporates an anti-allergen coating that Mitsubishi says breaks down offensive odours and volatile organic compounds as well as deactivating allergens such as ticks and pollen.
And if fighting farts isn't enough, each of the PX-Miev's four seats is air-conditioned to ensure any remaining odours are quickly distributed and dispelled.
The PX-Miev's obsession with smell doesn't end there. The air-conditioning system pumps out aroma molecules as well as negative-ion and enriched oxygen to reduce fatigue and enhance comfort.
And a driver-monitoring system uses a distinctive fragrance as a warning if it thinks concentration is wavering.
It also issues audible, visual and vibrational warnings. The PX-Miev is also concerned about your looks, its new-age interior including a radiation-blocking glass that prevents darkening and aging of the skin.
All this was hidden under the PX-Miev's orthodox compact cross-over body and not hyped anywhere near as hard by Mitsubishi as the all-wheel-drive wagon's plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
That's not surprising considering the entire Tokyo show is obsessed with fuel consumption reduction and alternative drivetrains.
Mitsubishi says its Plug-In Hybrid System delivers "super-low fuel consumption figures" better than 2.0L/100km.
Mitsubishi says its system is better than traditional petrol-electric hybrid systems such as the Toyota Prius because they predominantly employ their petrol engines while it is mostly driven by electricity.
The PX-MiEV is Mitsubishi's first serious venture into hybrid passenger vehicles. Previously its focus had centred around the i-Miev pure electrical car, which is bound for Australia in 2010.
Not that the i-Miev was hiding away, as a new version called the i-Miev Cargo was unveiled at Tokyo.
While it is unclear whether the PX Miev will see production in anything like its current form, its petrol-electric all-wheel-drive system is set to appear in 2013.
There is media speculation it will be employed with a future hybrid version of the Lancer Evo sports sedan.
Adding to that theory, the PX-Miev is fitted with an Evo-style Super All Wheel Control vehicle handling system, incorporating electronic active yaw control.
As presented in Tokyo the PX-Miev's hybrid drivetrain system includes an 85kW/125Nm petrol 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, two 60kW/200Nm electric motors and lithium-ion battery pack.
The petrol engine is mounted up-front and one electric motor on each axle, delivering all-wheel drive capability.
In low to medium speeds the PX-Miev runs in all-electric mode, when current runs low the petrol engine acts as a generator to supply the electric motors with power. At higher speeds the petrol engine adds motive power.
When decelerating it converts to regenerative mode, charging the battery. Mitsubishi describes the 4.5m exterior of the PX-Miev as "pared down", saying its design team went for a "clean and simple" appearance.
Inside there are typical concept car features such as Nubuck leather and striking purple trim, but the PX-Miev also uses a U-shaped steering wheel and new-generation controls to aid visibility.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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