A revolutionary new feature will forever change the way people use their cars and save them a lot of money in the process.

The car that started the plug-in hybrid revolution in Australia is back for its second act and now comes with an ace up its sleeve.

Mitsubishi has detailed Australian prices and specs for the new Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) which will hit showrooms in August.

Hi-tech plug-in petrol-electric vehicles have not yet taken off in Australia, but they remain an essential stepping stone between combustion engines and zero-emission cars.

The Outlander PHEV combines a 2.4-litre petrol engine with two electric motors – one on each axle for four-wheel drive – for a total of 185 kW and 450 Nm.

There are several modes of operation, including pure electric and when the petrol engine can be used as a generator to charge the battery or to drive the front wheels directly.

With a 20 kWh battery, the Outlander PHEV can travel up to 84 km on pure electric power.

Regenerative braking returns energy to the battery to extend the driving range.

Mitsubishi claims a fuel consumption of 1.5 l/100 km, but this is likely to increase significantly after the first 100 km when the battery is empty.

This, combined with a larger fuel tank, gives the plug-in hybrid a claimed range of over 900km.

A major advancement is that the Outlander PHEV now comes with bi-directional charging, which allows the vehicle’s battery to send energy back to the grid or power a home that is not connected to the grid.

The 20 kWh battery contains a significant amount of energy, equivalent to approximately one and a half Tesla Powerwall home batteries.

Few fully electric cars have this capability and it’s probably a major selling point.

It also has a vehicle-to-charge feature that allows the vehicle to power devices such as air conditioners or camping equipment.

It takes up to 12 hours to fully charge the battery from a standard home outlet or 6.5 hours with a wallbox home charger.

A DC fast charger can charge the battery from 0-80 percent in 38 minutes. Fast chargers slow the charging speed for the last 20 percent to prevent the battery from overheating.

The ES and Aspire versions come with five seats and cost $54,590 (before road use charges) and $60,990 respectively.

The Exceed and Exceed Tourer have seven seats and cost between $65,990 and $68,490.

All variants have a nine-inch central screen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is coupled with a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument display.

Base ES versions get 18-inch alloy wheels and the rest score larger 20-inch wheels.

Each version comes with a comprehensive range of standard safety features.

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