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Mitsubishi Will Remake Original 1917 Model as a Plug-in Hybrid for its Centennial

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1917 Mitsubishi Model A

Mitsubishi is celebrating its 100th anniversary by re-creating the very first car it produced in 1917: the Model A, only 22 of which were originally made.

With the help of West Coast Customers, an automobile repair shop based in California that specializes in vehicle customization, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) will strive to remain as faithful to the 100-year-old car’s looks, but not necessarily to what it had under the hood.

In an effort to join past and future, the re-created Mitsubishi Model A will feature an advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain as well as various other modern technologies.


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The original Model A was motivated by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder that made just 35 horsepower. The re-created version, on the other hand, will be built on the same platform that underpins the Outlander PHEV, which derives its power from a 119-horsepower, 2.0-liter gasoline engine and two 60-horsepower electric motors.

Though the classic purists won’t be happy with its 21st-century capabilities, MMNA Senior of Marketing Francine Harsini assures us the centennial celebration car would boast “all the distinctive aspects of the 1917 vehicle.”


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“The Mitsubishi Model A is the vehicle that paved the way for many other unique and exciting models over the years and we’re excited to re-design it with West Coast Customs,” she said. “The Mitsubishi Model A will feature all the distinctive aspects of the 1917 vehicle, but will be built on the PHEV platform, and offer the latest in automotive technology.”

The project is certainly interesting. A car that looks like a 1917 Mitsubishi Model A, but moves like a 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? That would make one hell of a sleeper car.