Mitsubishi has been thrown a life jacket and it’s taken full advantage. The Japanese automaker was in pretty good shape only a few years ago, lacking the funds to redesign much of its lineup, such as its aging Lancer sedan and its high-performance variant, the Evolution, or Evo. Now that it has officially been integrated into the Renault-Nissan alliance (which itself could be in doubt), Mitsubishi is benefiting not just from much-needed funds, but also a whole catalog of platforms, engines, and everything else needed to update its lineup.
And speaking of the Lancer Evo, could Mitsubishi’s new lease of life also translate to a reborn rally-focused sedan? Apparently. According to Autocar, the automaker is planning to revive its currently dead Evo, though many specific details are mostly non-existent at the moment.
What we do know is that the revived sedan would likely share main elements of its drivetrain with the next-generation Renault Megane RS. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired to a dual-clutch gearbox is also expected, as is Mitsubishi’s own contribution: an advanced all-wheel drive system. It’s an Evo, after all. Right now, the most powerful Megane RS has 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, but there’s a strong chance the new Evo will be equipped with a mild-hybrid system providing an electric boost that’ll push output to the current Subaru Impreza WRX STI ST009’s 341 hp and 319 lb-ft. The reborn Evo, of course, will also spawn a non-high-performance Lancer.
This Mitsubishi performance revival is being heavily pushed by Mitsubishi chairman Osamu Masuko. He also currently serves as CEO, but will relinquish that job to Takao Kato soon. He’ll remain chairman though, and that’s a good thing. He’s been around for a while and no doubt it’s been difficult to see the company in the sad state it's recently been in. Anyone who thinks Mitsubishi’s glory days were over, should probably think again.