It's likely the case that only enthusiasts will care about a potential revival of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, but those who care about what happens to Mitsubishi should also take notice. The brand isn't exactly selling like gangbusters, after all. Sure, having Nissan at the reigns will help the brand in the long run, but Mitsubishi needs an injection of adrenaline in its system and soon. Now, the rumor is that the brand just may bring back the Evo in a high-tech performance sedan.
Back in 2015, Mitsubishi killed of the Lancer Evolution (while keeping the lame Lancer), and enthusiasts mourned its demise because it really was the best rally-inspired car on the market, even better than the Subaru WRX STi. The brand shifted its focus to crossovers, and when they slapped the Eclipse sports car name to a mediocre crossover known as the Eclipse Cross. We drove it and were thoroughly unimpressed.
Automotive publication AutoCarUK recently heard that the brand is considering bringing back the Lancer Evolution and in proper sedan form, not in a weird crossover. Keep in mind that nothing is official, but the mere fact that rumors are being tossed around without the brand denying them is a very good sign, indeed.
This would make it the 11th generation model, the Lancer Evolution XI, and it might be powered by a turbo four from the European market Renault Megane RS hot hatch. Power would be sent to all four wheels via a new S-AWC AWD system developed by Mitsubishi while using a Renault-sourced dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In the Megane RS, the mill produces 296 horses and a near-equal 295 lb-ft of torque, but it's probably that Mitsubishi wants to beat Subaru at the power game by giving the new Evo more than the STi S209's 341 horses, which is a big number to shoot for.
But the new Evo will also showcase technology in the form of a new 48-volt electrical system for a type of mild hybrid system that will operate as a generator, a starter, and as a drive motor. That system will also make room for additional technology the Evo has never seen before. It's also a way to make the Evo more future-friendly and attractive, versus just another rally racer for the street.
This is exciting news, but we have to wait and see what will come of it. The brand is fueled by the Nissan-Renault alliance, so let's hope that fact births something that stirs the automotive passions in the Mitsubishi brand. After that, maybe we can get our hopes up for a new Montero? Please?