Mitsubishi reportedly plans to spend billions to get back in the game

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors reportedly plans to inject more than 600 billion yen ($5.35 billion) in capital spending and research and development over the next three years through fiscal 2019 in a bid to turn around its business after recent scandals.

The Nikkei newspaper said the new plan calls for spending 5 percent of annual sales on equipment and the same proportion on R&D.

Funds will be used by the company for the development of electrified vehicles such as the new e-Evolution concept and for production in China and Indonesia.

Mitsubishi Motors will release the specifics of the new medium-term plan on Wednesday, the business daily said.

($1 = 112.1600 yen)

Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad

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Mitsubishi Electric unveils Emirai 4 autonomous EV concept for Tokyo

Mitsubishi Electric – a separate arm from Mitsubishi Motors ­– specializes in electronics. That includes things like air conditioning and refrigerators, but also covers a number of automotive systems and parts ranging from engine control units to power steering to electrification products. Now, Mitsubishi Electric is putting that expertise to use in the field of future mobility, unveiling an entire concept car, called the Emirai 4, for the Tokyo Motor Show.

The Emirai 4 is electric, and can switch between normal and autonomous driving. It has a head-up display that uses augmented reality, powered by high-accuracy 3D mapping and positioning tech, to emphasize lane markings, making them more visible at night or in lousy weather. A central display is equipped with a sliding knob that can be assigned various functions, and is intended to help the driver keep their eyes on the road.

The car is also equipped with a driver sensing system. It uses an interior camera to monitor the driver and passenger by detecting head position and posture. It can alert the driver to unsafe driving, respond to the driver or passenger’s individual conditions to make them more comfortable, and aids in providing a smooth transition between autonomous and manual driving modes.

The Emirai 4 also features an intelligent lighting system that detects when someone is going to open the door. That way, it can project an image onto the road and light up an alert on the rear of the car to alert passersby, hopefully preventing a collision with the door buy a pedestrian, cyclist, or another motorist.

We’ll be at the Tokyo Motor Show, so we’ll be able to dig a little deeper into how these systems work (and get some better photos) when we see the Emirai 4 in person.

This won’t be the only concept bearing the Mitsubishi name at the Tokyo Motor Show. Mitsubishi Motors is planning its own unveiling of an electric vehicle called the e-Evolution. That all-wheel-drive SUV uses artificial intelligence to improve your driving skills. Mitsubishi has been teasing the e-Evolution, which borrows its name from the hardcore Lancer we all know and love, and it will get its full reveal next week.

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Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept EV has AI that can teach you to drive better

Following a teaser last month, Mitsubishi has revealed additional details, and a couple more images of the e-Evolution concept. The new teasers show a car with a pretty wild profile. The windshield is incredibly long and raked, and it generally has an angular, wedge-like shape. It’s also an extremely cab-forward design, which is possible because it is fully electric, and there isn’t an engine up front to take up lots of space.

That’s bad news for anyone hoping Mitsubishi might just hybridize a high-strung turbo engine. But it is still all-wheel drive, courtesy of a trio of electric motors. There’s one motor up front for the front wheels, and a pair at the back for the rear wheels. These rear motors can apply different amounts of power for torque vectoring.

Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept profile

The e-Evolution also has a unique feature in its artificial intelligence (AI) system. Mitsubishi didn’t go deep into the details of how it works, but by using many sensors, the AI can adjust how the car drives and reacts based on road conditions, traffic, and driver preferences. It can make you a better driver by silently assisting you, but it can also make you a better driver by teaching you. Apparently it can assess your driving skills and advise you on how to improve. Hopefully the e-Evolution, or whatever production model takes inspiration from it, will be fun enough to drive that you will want to improve your skills.

The e-Evolution will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show. It will only be on display for one of the press days, so if you happen to be able to get to the show then, make sure you catch it. For everyone else, stay tuned to Autoblog for more photos and info when it’s fully revealed.

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