Mitsubishi has confirmed there will be a replacement to the Evo X – but it will not be “advancing the concept in the same way as before”.
Mitsubishi’s global product director, Gayu Eusegi, revealed to Autocar at the recent Geneva show that although there was still a demand for the Evo, “we must stop” as there had been a “policy change” towards EV technology.
Eusegi’s comments attracted much negative publicity and internet campaigns to try and save the rally-bred sports saloon, and Mitsubishi’s president and CEO, Osamu Masuko, has now further clarified the future of the Evo.
“Production of the current Lancer Evolution X continues as planned,” he said. “As for its successor, regulations and market feedback will dictate its engineering package and architecture.
“MMC [Mitsubishi Motor Company] has kept the Lancer Evolution sedan evolving as the brand's highest performing model in the global market.
“However, as the markets need's and demands change, MMC is considering not advancing the Lancer Evolution concept in the same way as before, but to find a different direction for the Lancer Evolution model to evolve.
“The new direction, the technologies involved, and corresponding products will be disclosed in due course.”
Autocar understands that the next Evo will switch to a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, designed to save the car from tightening economy and emissions regs, while preserving its trademark mid-range shove.
Engineers hope that the mix of clean-diesel torque and electric motor assistance will allow the Evo XI to deliver a 0-62mph time of under five seconds, yet cut CO2 emissions to well under 200g/km.
Handling will be entrusted to a revised version of the Evo’s highly rated four-wheel drive system, S-AWC, which integrates steering, braking and traction control.