Is a reborn Evo part of the plan?
Mitsubishi was thrown a lifeline by the Nissan-Renault Alliance a while back, and those benefits are starteing to pay off with desperately needed new product. Motor Trend has learned, more or less, what Mitsubishi has planned for the next few years till around 2021. If you’re still hoping for a proper Evo revival, then you need to leave that thought behind right here, right now. It ain’t happening, at least not in the traditional sense. But there’s still enough new product in the pipeline to keep things interesting.
As we first reported back in March, Mitsubishi is keen to launch a new SUV, possibly with the Pajero and or Montero name. No time frame has been announced, but we can confirm work is already underway, so that’s cool. But what about a midsize pickup truck? As MT learned, that’s one of the vehicles North American Mitsubishi dealers want most, based on customer demand. If there were to be a new Mitsubishi truck, it would have to be a joint venture with Nissan, partly because the former no longer has a US-based production facility. A new Nissan Frontier is supposedly on its way, so it’s entirely possible Mitsubishi will be allowed to work with that. Then again, wouldn’t that create internal competition? Just saying.
New crossovers, supposedly with styling influenced by last year’s e-Evolution concept, are due to arrive in two or three years, and they’ll most likely be hybrids or plug-in hybrids. Speaking of which, after nearly five years of waiting, the Outlander PHEV finally hit the market earlier this year. Problem here is that it’s already almost out of date, given the long arrival date. But fear not, because a next generation Outlander is due to arrive in 2021, and it’ll be based on the same platform that underpins the Nissan Rogue. Compared to the Outlander Sport and Eclipse Cross, it’ll be longer and wider, and a plug-in hybrid version will once again be offered.
The Outlander Sport will also receive a redesign, but it’ll share a smaller platform with the new Nissan Kicks. The Eclipse Cross will continue to be slotted between the two. Not surprisingly, the Mirage hatchback and sedan aren’t going anywhere. Why? Because both are two of the cheapest and most-fuel efficient (41 mpg) non-hybrids on sale today. Starting at around $14,000, one can buy a brand new car, instead of something used. Those buyers will also be receiving a 10-year powertrain warranty. Further down the line, Mitsubishi wants to have a plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle for every vehicle in its US lineup alongside gasoline-powered versions.
That’s a pretty tall order considering both internal combustion and a separate electrified powertrain will be required. All told, Mitsubishi plans to launch 12 new EVs over the next six years. Could an Evo revival happen in the form a pure EV? Possibly, and we honestly wouldn’t rule that out.