A concept from last year shows what Mitsubishi might have in mind.

Mitsubishi looks to revive the long-lived Lancer name with a stylish, compact crossover. Look at the company's e-Evolution concept (above) for the general inspiration of what the firm is planning.

“Lancer’s probably the easiest one; we believe we’ve got a solution that could fit the segment. Because if you look globally, the C-segment hatchback market is not shrinking. It’s down a bit in the US and Europe. But its numbers are still expanding in China," Mitsubishi Chief Operating Officer Trevor Mann told Auto Express.

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The company's idea seems to follow the similar design strategy of the Toyota C-HR or Nissan Kicks by eschewing crossover's traditional connection to off-roading. Instead, these models use the high-riding layout as an a canvas for creating a highly stylish vehicle. Mitsubishi's chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto sees this layout as an opportunity to do something different.

“Maybe we can create a new type of hatchback vehicle. We’re thinking quite radically," he told Auto Express.

The e-Evolution concept premiered at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. It features a highly angular exterior design with a front grille that comes to a sharp point and a similar element at the rear. A massive windshield wraps around the cabin. Inside, digital screens dominate much of the dashboard.

Where the concept uses a fully electric poweplant, the production version would likely have a hybrid setup – at least as an option. All-wheel drive would also likely be available. Expect the platform underpinning the new Lancer to come from Mitsubishi's new membership in the Renault Nissan Alliance.

The Lancer left the American market in 2017, and at the time, the company said there was no successor on the way. Instead, the firm wanted to focus on the popular crossover market. By making the Lancer a stylish SUV, the name can return with a new aesthetic. 

Source: Auto Express

Gallery: 2017 Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept