Another 'sporty' crossover is exactly what we feared.
When Mitsubishi killed off the Lancer Evolution, it was a sad day indeed. We still hold out hope that the moniker will someday reappear, but if past experience is anything to go by, we will be disappointed. The Mitsubishi Eclipse eventually returned, but it did so as a crossover, and now, after teasing something sporty last month, the Japanese automaker has taken the wraps off its latest concept, called the Vision Ralliart Concept.
Sadly, like the Eclipse before it, this concept is yet another crossover. Worse still, it's a concept based on a car that already exists, the Mitsubishi Outlander. Naturally, we're a little disappointed.
On the other hand, we suppose that we ought to be grateful that the Ralliart brand is back at all. So what does the new concept offer? Well, not much information is provided. Mitsubishi says that the concept embodies its "vision for the new Ralliart and brings together the company's engineering and passion for Monozukuri (craftsmanship)."
Acceleration, cornering, and braking are all said to be improved thanks to "higher motor output, sportier four-wheel control tuning, and enhanced battery capacity," but no power figures are claimed. What we do know is that the wheels and tires are 22-inch units that house six-pot brake calipers.
Little else is revealed as Mitsubishi further speaks only of the styling, saying that the concept incorporates "functional beauty" and that the matte black finish of the body shows blue highlights under light for a "deep, multidimensional expression that enhances the vehicle's quality feel."
The automaker goes on to say that customer feedback on this concept will be used in the future development of its vehicles, which gives us a glimmer of hope. If the public shuns the idea of yet another sporty crossover (whether it's an EV or just a hybrid), Mitsubishi may yet be encouraged to return to its true icons in their original body styles. We wouldn't bet on our dreams coming true, but we continue to hold out hope.
As for this concept, we hope to learn more of its capabilities following its first in-the-metal appearance at Tokyo Auto Salon from January 14-16 (Friday to Sunday this week).