Will 2021 be THE year?
Mitsubishi is sometimes the forgotten Japanese automaker. The third wheel of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Mitsubishi has faced its own recent struggles and, like Nissan, has embarked on a turnaround plan whose aim is to focus mainly in markets where it's been strong for years, such as Southeast Asia. North America is still set to receive the all-new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander, which will be based on the same platform underpinning the latest Nissan Rogue. The rest of Mitsubishi's lineup, save for the Eclipse Cross, is aging fast and it's time for some fresh blood.
According to a report from Japanese publication Spyder7, that could come in the form of a production-spec version of 2017's e-Evolution Concept, pictured below.
At the time of its reveal, it was rumored Mitsubishi was gauging public reaction at the idea of turning its beloved and discontinued Lancer-based, rally-inspired Evolution sports sedan into an all-electric SUV. The reaction was apparently mixed but still good enough for Mitsubishi not to completely dismiss the project. This latest report from Japan is claiming development has been quietly ongoing and a production version is expected to debut sometime in 2021.
Sources say the most significant difference between the concept and the road-going model is that the suicide doors have been eliminated, which is hardly surprising. The A-pillar also has a steeper slope while the rear end has more coupe-like styling. Front end styling has been toned down somewhat with the LED multi-headlight styling changed from a vertical to a horizontal appearance. The bold character lines on the sides remain mostly unchanged.
Powertrain wise, this will be a pure battery-electric. The concept featured a triple electric motor setup, one up front and two at the rear, but this will be reversed for production. The drive system features the latest four-wheel-drive S-AWC system (Super All Wheel Control), resulting in top performance at all four wheels in all driving conditions. Interior space has been increased as well and the cabin boasts an all-digital instrument cluster and a large touchscreen display with very few physical buttons.
We don't know yet if the e-Evolution is US-bound, but it'd definitely be a great way for Mitsubishi to re-establish its performance cred.