RAC Cars News


New Mitsubishi Evo On The Way?

By raccars Published

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Speed freaks will find their mouths watering at the news that a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution replacement is being developed. However, fans of the car will find the very modern new Evo dramatically different from the classic boy racer.

In fact, you can expect the Nissan GT-R rivalling sports car to be equipped with a plug in hybrid powertrain to supply it with 500bhp. A Lancer hatchback will hit the streets next year in traditional and hybrid versions and Mitsubishi is said to be planning to adapt its Pikes Peak racing MiEV Evolution technology, for the performance version of the Lancer.

It's thought the company's fledgling PHEV plug in hybrid technology has the potential to transform the Evo's image and dynamics, following the sporting success of its electric powerplant at Pikes Peak. Misubishi sees the new Lancer Evo as a premium product, embodying the most sophisticated of all wheel driving sporting technology, yet simultaneously clean and green, thanks to electric power – a far cry from the Evo's previous hot and dirty image that made it the target of every boy racer in the world.

Production status for the Evo replacement is likely to be dependent upon the success of the forthcoming Outlander PHEV, to be released in the UK late this year and then the standard Lancer PHEV, both of which will be powered by a 2.0 litre petrol unit, with the assistance of a couple of 80bhp electric motors. Expect efficiency figures of 150mpg and CO2 emissions of 50g/km, with range of about 40 miles in all electric mode.

If the new Lancer meets with public approval, the new Evo will be one step closer to getting the green light, with encouraging signs so far in higher than expected demand for the Outlander PHEV in its initial launch pads of Japan and Holland. However at the same time, Mitsubishi is said to be hesitant to go all out for hybrid technology until charging infrastructure installation picks up pace.

US disagreements on rapid charging hardware mean the company is reluctant to invest too heavily at this stage, meaning the full potential of Mitsubishi's hybrid format could be slow to reveal itself. However, the booming electric sports car market and a strong appetite for the revival of the cult Evo name, indicate the possibility of great riches to come, both in financial and automotive terms, should Mitsubishi prove brave enough to give the go ahead.

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