Mitsu says a new performance 'Evo' model doesn't necessarily have to be a sedan.
Mitsubishi put the last nail in the Lancer Evolution’s coffin back in late 2015 with the Final Edition and it was at that point when company officials revealed a direct successor wasn’t being considered. Fast forward to present day, Mitsu is still not working on a replacement for the flagship Lancer, but there is a glimmer of hope for a new Evo-badged car.
Speaking with Australia’s Motoring magazine, the company’s global boss, Trevor Mann, revealed a performance car is on the agenda in the long-term rather than the mid-term. He went on to clarify what that actually means in terms of years: six. That being said, Mann also acknowledged a new Evo doesn’t necessarily have to be based on a sedan, hinting it could actually be an SUV to bank on the segment’s popularity and on Mitsubishi’s SUV-focused lineup.
In the same interview, Mann revealed Mitsubishi wanted to have a halo model in its lineup and decided to go with the Pajero Sport to fill in that position. One could argue a new Lancer Evolution would be more compatible, but even if the Evo will be back eventually in the next decade, it won’t have anything with common with the car that made the moniker so desirable.
In related news, the Lancer, which has been virtually the same for a decade, will soldier on despite a decision to end production at the Mizushima plant in Japan to free up capacity for the ASX crossover. It will be made in Taiwan, with Mann actually pointing out the company’s intention is to “continue to sell Lancers for as long as we can.”
The “Made in Japan” Lancer will cease to exist in August and that will also spell the end of the U.S.-spec model. With just 14,304 cars sold in 2016, the decision to pull the plug on the sedan in North America makes sense. To mark the end of the line, there’s a new Lancer Limited Edition available for $19,795 through the end of the model year.