Is it possible for said coolness to be regained?
Anyone who grew up in the 1990s will remember the Mitsubishi 3000GT. Along with the Toyota Supra and its Dodge Stealth twin, the 3000GT was part of a generation of sports cars that were not only rock solid reliable, but also powerful and highly tunable. As such, all three developed loyal followings still in existence today. Mitsubishi also had the Eclipse, itself a twin of the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser. But the Eclipse was the only one of the three to survive past the first-gen model.
There was also the Galant VR-4 and the old and truly off-road capable Montero. The point is that just 20 years ago Mitsubishi built some truly great cars. Today, well, not so much. Perhaps the sole exception is the Lancer Evo, which also happens to be scheduled for permanent retirement. Mitsubishi instead wants to rebrand itself as a green automaker with a focus on EVs and plug-in hybrids. Right, because the i-MiEV has been such a phenomenal success. Yes, you’re supposed to note the sarcasm there. What about the current Galant? Outdated only begins to describe it.
So is there any chance for Mitsubishi to regain that long lost cool factor? We honestly don’t know. What we do know is that a next-gen Evo is still not a given and that by 2020, the automaker hopes 20 percent of its lineup will be EVs and plug-ins. It’s the remaining 80 percent that remains a mystery.