This could be epic.
It's been more than two decades since Mitsubishi last won the World Rally Championship, a series that it once dominated. Pivotal to the Diamond brand's success was its in-house motorsport and tuning sub-brand, Ralliart, but besides rumors of a Ralliart version of the Eclipse Cross back in 2017, the name has been essentially dead since 2010. Fortunately, it seems that Mistubishi is keen to recapture its mojo by bringing the Ralliart brand back. This was revealed in the Japanese automaker's 2020 financial report that was released yesterday, and to say that we're excited is an understatement. But before you start emptying the piggy bank in hopes of an exciting new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, we have a caveat to inform you of.
Think for a moment about Mitsubishi's current offerings in the US. You've got three versions of the Outlander, the aforementioned Eclipse Cross, and two versions of the terrible Mirage. Are any of those worthy of the Ralliart name? Probably not, but it seems that even without a performance model in Mitsubishi's current lineup, Ralliart will aim to make Mitsubishi cool again.
Company CEO, Takao Kato, says: "For customers who wish to experience our Mitsubishi-ness, we will launch custom-made accessories for our model lineup as well as reentering motorsport events around the world." Silhouettes of vehicles that Ralliart may work on suggest, fortunately, that it won't be cars like the Mirage getting unnecessarily upgraded.
Instead, it appears that the vehicles returning to motorsport, likely from 2023, will be SUVs and crossovers. And with Mitsubishi investing heavily in electrified powertrains, it's quite likely that these new Ralliart vehicles will be fast, tall, and silent. The fast SUV is quite trendy at the moment, so it makes financial sense to invest in sporty utility vehicles, and since Mitsubishi definitely has the experience to make four-wheel-drive systems brilliant, these taller vehicles could be something special. We really wish the Evo would make a comeback, but for now, we're quite happy that Ralliart is returning to the world stage; who doesn't want to see an SUV flying between trees on a rally stage?