Originally published October 28, 2015 on autoTRADER.ca
Cloaked in styling that likely predicts the next-generation RVR compact crossover, the EX Concept made its global debut yesterday at the Tokyo auto show.
Beyond a believable electric all-wheel drivetrain Mitsu says can provide 400 km of driving range, the EX contains a lot of other tech stuff that’s not hard to wrap one’s head around. There’s a head-up display that provides the driver with info from the navigation system, lane departure warnings, and road signs.
It’s clear we’re seeing a step toward autonomous cars here, too, as Mitsu says that display can handle vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-road, and vehicle-to-pedestrian interactions, and can tell the driver about potential problems still out of his or her line of sight. The Japanese automaker says this tech allows the car to run partly autonomously; using those communication protocols, plus information from the car’s adaptive cruise control system, the car will change speed to match conditions, and can even change lanes on its own if it senses one lane is less congested than another.
Monitors on either side of the instrument cluster display images captured by rearview cameras, replacing traditional mirrors. We’ve seen this before in other concepts, so if it’s such a good idea, why hasn’t it shown up in a production car already? There’s also a screen in the upper console connected to a rearview camera that Mitsu says provides a clearer, higher-definition view of what’s behind the vehicle than today’s conventional rearview mirror.
Mechanically, Mitsu’s S-AWC all-wheel drive system goes electric here, with each axle getting its own motor, and a rear axle that can divide torque between the rear wheels to enhance traction, handling, or both.
And when you get home, Mitsu says the EX Concept is geared to allow the drive battery to power household appliances.
Other tech stuff includes blind spot warning, lane change assist, cross traffic alert, and a road condition monitor that uses cameras and radar sensors to look at the road surface and adjust the all-wheel drive system’s behaviour. The car also monitor’s the driver’s behaviour, and will recommend a rest stop if indications point to a sleepy pilot.
As we inferred up top, however, we’ll see styling cues from the EX Concept on a future compact crossover sooner than its autonomous vehicle functions appear in a production vehicle.