Rally

What The Hell Were They Thinking: Mitsubishi Killing The Evo

Seriously, what the hell are they thinking?

Anyone who grew up in the 1990s is aware of how different Mitsubishi was then compared to today. There was the 3000GT, Eclipse, and the Lancer-based Evo. Well, it didn’t officially arrive in the US until 2003 but it first debuted in Japan back in 1992. By the late 90s the Evo was quite popular in the so-called "grey import" market in Europe, thus making Mitsubishi realize the world outside of Japan wanted a rally-inspired high-performance econobox. Subaru, at around that time, came to the same conclusion regarding its WRX.

And so came about one of the great automotive rivalries that will soon come to an end. That’s because, as we all know, Mitsubishi is killing off the Evo completely in all global markets. As of now, there will be no replacement, or at least not one that’s not a hybrid. So why is Mitsubishi doing this despite development of a new Lancer (a joint project with Renault)? Fantastic question, and it’s one the automaker hasn’t provided a good answer to. Mitsubishi has been struggling, especially in the US, in recent years with a lack of a competitive product. The Evo was the only bright spot, although it too is now outperformed by the latest WRX STI. Instead Mitsubishi claims it wants to focus on green vehicles.

Right, like the i-MiEV is such a resounding sales success. A new Evo could very well have provided the injection of testosterone Mitsubishi so badly needs. It claims it couldn’t come up with a business case for such a model, but sometimes passionate and emotional cars do more than any bit of statistical data may claim.

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