Currently reading: Evo name returns on Mitsubishi e-Evolution SUV concept
Four-wheel-drive SUV-coupé signposts the brand’s future under Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi has revived the famous Evolution moniker at the Tokyo motor show with the reveal of the e-Evolution concept.

The pure-electric, four-wheel drive SUV coupé is billed by Mitsubishi as a “technology concept” car, previewing future electric powertrain technology and the ability to reach Level 4 autonomy, which allows the driver to have their ‘mind-off’.

Mitsubishi executive vice president Mitsuhiko Yamashita described at its Tokyo unveiling as a “new evolution of the SUV” that proposes “a new direction for Mitsubishi Motors”.

The body of the new SUV is understood to preview Mitsubishi's upcoming rival to the Nissan Juke, due in 2018/19, albeit toned down from the overtly concept car styling seen here.

The technology on the concept is all viable for production, but the firm has not yet decided if it will be used for an Evo model. 

Mitsubishi confirms Evo successor

There will be an Evo in the future, in around 2022/23, although no concrete plans yet exist for what form it will take. To that end, Mitsubishi is keeping its options open on which style and type of car it will be a version of, and which technology will power it. 

Instead, Mitsubishi is prioritizsing the launch of six new models and five facelifted ones of the next three years, typically more SUVs, all-wheel drive and electrified models, as part of a recovery plan aimed at boosting sales volumes and revenues by 30%, and harnessing the economies of scale that being part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance can bring.

It’s the technology of the car that previews production intent, and shows the way for Mitsubishi to create a fully electric SUV in its next generation of models beyond 2020.

Three motors power the mid-sized SUV – one at the front and two at the rear – with the two rear ones enabling active yaw control. It uses Mitsubishi’s S-AWC all-wheel drive system, meaning Super All Wheel Control, for permanent four-wheel drive.

Traction control akin to that seen on current SUVs confirms that the concept is also geared towards off-road driving, and has separate settings for snowy and sandy conditions. Indeed, Mitsubishi has made a link to the past Evo models in a video of the car conquering rally-style terrain and trails.

Mitsubishi Evo axed to usher in successor

It has the dramatic angular styling of recent Mitsubishi concepts but is less rugged in its execution.Inside, the technology laden e-Evolution uses both augmented reality, to feed information to the driver more efficiently, and artificial intelligence, to underpin the car’s autonomous capability. Yamashita said the interior showed a future direction Mitsubishi could head in.

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The model imagines a future Evo as an SUV despite the model’s history as a road-going version of its rallying sports saloon. It was last sold in this form in 2015, but none of the 1000 Final edition cars made it to the UK.

During the late 1990s Mitsubishi briefly produced a Pajero Evolution SUV in order to homologate cars for competitive use in a category of the Dakar Rally.

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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Bazzer 25 October 2017


Great car.

Look, JLR, the steering wheel of the concept is on the correct side!

Martin Zed 27 October 2017

Well said Bazzer

I noticed that too... In fact my first thought was 'Why is the steering wheel over there?' so used am I to journo pics with the steering wheel on the left..  At least Mitubishi are proud of their home roots.  Although I suppose car makers have to appeal to their big money making markets too.  

Bazzer 28 October 2017


Jaguar Land Rover show all their cars with left-hand drive - even on their UK website!!!  They don't even attempt to think of themselves as British in any way.  Bentley, on the other hand, despite being German, insist that all their concept cars have right-hand drive in order to exhibit their Britishness to foreign buyers, especially US buyers.  But JLR have never understood this and never will.

Agent Coulson 20 September 2017

Oh dear......

This sounds horrible.....

Gimme a 2006 STi any day.....

WallMeerkat 20 September 2017

Ruining a legacy

Ruining a legacy

Putting the Evo badge on what will be a Qashqai/Kadjar with wacky 'slashy' styling.