Previewing the future electric Evo SUV no one wants.
Good news: Mitsubishi is reviving the iconic Evolution name. Bad news: it’s going to be an electric crossover no one wants. Forgive our cynicism, but applying a name that’s synonymous with one of the most iconic and technically advanced sports sedans of all time to an SUV should be a criminal offense. It shouldn’t be surprising though since the Mitsubishi Eclipse suffered the same fate. Unlike the Eclipse which is entering production, however, the reborn Evo SUV is just a concept for now.
Thanks to the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, we now have a better idea what the Evo’s transformation is going to look like. The e-Evolution Concept has a quirky design with short overhangs and dramatic lines, but the styling is still unmistakably Mitsubishi featuring the brand’s signature Dynamic Shield grille now made of glass, along with large intakes and a raked windshield. Performance specifications are still surprisingly scarce for now. As we already know, the e-Evolution is powered by three electric motors, with one driving the front axle and the other two at the back to give the concept an all-wheel drive setup with electronically controlled torque vectoring.
Mitsubishi promises this setup will give smooth and powerfully responsive performance. A high-capacity battery unit is mounted under the floor. The concept SUV also features Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control to improve cornering and traction, so it at least still handles like a sports car. Interestingly, the e-Evolution uses electronic brake calipers that give the SUV superior stopping power compared to hydraulic calipers. One of the e-Evolution Concept’s standout features is an advanced artificial intelligence system that “augments the driver’s capabilities.” It uses a series of sensors that can detect changes in road and traffic conditions as well as the driver’s intent.
It can even provide a tailored training program that helps you be a better driver. “We aim to provide vehicles that fulfill our customers' desires through outstanding design, combined with the power, authenticity and carefully-considered functionality Mitsubishi Motors is known for," said Mitsubishi head of global Design Tsunehiro Kunimoto. Scissor doors provide easy access to the concept SUV, revealing a minimalist cabin with four individual seats. A large flat screen spans the full width of the dashboard displaying environmental conditions, navigation and coaching information. Two smaller screens show footage from the front and rear cameras.
No word yet on when we can expect a production model, but we know that Mitsubishi is planning to launch six new cars in the next three years to increase revenue and become relevant again.