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Mitsubishi unveils pickup truck of the future

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    AP

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    Mitsubishi

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    Mitsubishi

It’s been a few years since Mitsubishi sold trucks in the United States, but it’s still a big player in the small pickup market around the world.

Its popular L200 is a very modern-looking little utility, but also very conventional, powered by a variety of gasoline and diesel-powered engines.

However, the Japanese automaker has now unveiled the hybrid GR-HEV concept at the Geneva Motor Show, offering at glimpse at a possible pickup truck of the future.

Powered by a 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine assisted by an electric motor, Mitsubishi says the streamlined 4x4 would produce just 149 grams of CO2 per mile, which is equivalent to about 47 mpg on the European fuel economy test cycle.

Although there are no official plans to put it into production yet, Mitsubishi is very focused on alternative powertrains these days, and a product like this seems like a distinct possibility.

Mitsubishi’s battery-powered i was one of the first all-electric cars on sale in the U.S., and the company is set to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the new Outlander crossover here next year.

As for a return to the small truck segment, however, with its Normal, Illinois plant geared up for Outlander Sport production, and the 25% “chicken tax” still applied to trucks manufactured outside the NAFTA zone, Mitsubishi’s pickup of the future may be out of reach for Americans for quite some time to come.

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