Building A New Evo Is The First Thing We'd Do To Improve Mitsubishi

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Although Mitsubishi needs a lot more help than just that.

We honestly had to take a look at Mitsubishi's website just to check what they actually sell nowadays. Apparently, someone that works for the company needs to take a look at the website as well. Not only does the Japanese manufacturer only have one upcoming car listed for 2017, they still have several 2015 models listed online. The once proud Japanese company is reduced to selling just the Outlander, Outlander Sport, Mirage, and I-MIEV in the United States. In a word: ouch.

The 2015 Lancer and Lancer Evolution are both still listed on the website despite being discontinued. This is a sad lineup for a company that used to be best known for building cars that could go toe to toe with the Subaru WRX STI. This classic Top Gear Clip serves as a reminder of its capabilities.

Oleg Steel Drake via Flickr
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We have recently suggested fixes for BMW's and Infiniti's lineups. However, Mitsubishi's lineup need more than just a makeover. It practically needs to be brought back from the dead. We will start with the much-loved Lancer Evolution. The Lancer Evolution, or Evo for short, was a four-door rally inspired car that competed against the Subaru WRX STI. While that car got modern improvements to keep it relevant, the Evo's look remained virtually unchanged as the years went by. Mitsubishi isn't exactly a sales powerhouse, and likely didn't have money to make improvements to such a low-volume model. If Mitsubishi wants anyone to love them again, they need to put some money into making a next-generation Evo.

How can Mitsubishi do this cost effectively? Volvo may have cracked the code on revamping an entire model range without breaking the bank, basing its cars on a modular architecture that can underpin both large and small vehicles. If Mitsubishi can develop a similar architecture, they can create a similar lineup. Based on this theoretical architecture, Mitsubishi could build a new all-wheel-drive Lancer sedan and also make a two-door version that they could call the Eclipse. Having a two-door car based on a sedan, revolutionary right? These two models could share a four-cylinder turbo with 200 to 300 horsepower. Then offer each car as an Evo model with about 400 horsepower and now we're talking!

The Lancer and Eclipse will be able to compete with other Japanese offerings like the Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza. In order to beat them on price, Mitsubishi should also offer a more basic version of both cars without the turbo, making around 170 horsepower. Mitsubishi can keep making the Outlander and Outlander Sport, although the Sport should be offered in Evo trim with a turbo and AWD. The Outlander is Mitsubishi's best selling model right now, and we don't mind leaving at least one boring ride alive. The Mirage wouldn't be a great car even if it was being sold in 1982, so obviously under our plan it will die! The i-MiEV, which is just a rebadged electric Peugeot, will die as well.

If Mitsubishi wants to build electric cars, they better be cool. Volvo has managed to make hybrid powertrains awesome. The new S90 will have a hybrid system that makes over 400 horsepower. If Mitsubishi wants to build the Evo models that we mentioned above with hybrid power, that would be fine. Does anyone have a problem with the McLaren P1 having batteries? A hybrid Evo would allow the car to have a ton of power from a small engine without having terrible fuel economy. This technology would improve the fuel economy of the whole lineup and give people more of a reason to want a Mitsubishi. Our final suggestion is to to build a large SUV to compete with the Toyota Sequoia and the upcoming Mazda CX-9

The new Mazda CX-9 is a great looking car with an very luxurious interior. Mitsubishi could bring back the Montero nameplate to take Mazda on. With a Volvo-esq drivetrain, Mitsubishi can power all of its cars with a combination of four-cylinder turbos and hybrid power. This would give them the same unique edge that Volvo now has, but at a much lower price range. Sure we may be copying the Swedish automaker here, but is that necessarily a bad thing? Volvo was stuck in a rut with an uninspired lineup. If Mitsubishi wants to start selling good cars again, they better start copying the best turnaround artist in the biz. We know that there is no way that any of this happens, but do you think our suggestions could actually fix Mitsubishi?


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