Four-wheel-drive SUV-coupé signposts the brand’s future under Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi
Mark Tisshaw
25 October 2017

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.

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.

Read more 

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Final Edition not coming to the UK

Nissan's Mitsubishi Motors acquisition is complete

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi ASX

The Mitsubishi ASX packs some clever tech, but does that make it desirable?

Join the debate

Comments
5

20 September 2017

Ruining a legacy

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

20 September 2017

This sounds horrible.....

Gimme a 2006 STi any day.....

25 October 2017

Great car.

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

27 October 2017

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.  

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.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Porsche bolsters its hybrid range with a 671bhp Panamera Sport Turismo flagship. Can it justify the premium over the Turbo?
  • Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Driven for the first time on British roads, Skoda's new compact SUV doesn't disappoint, with decent on-road manners and performance
  • Aston Martin DB11 V8
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Aston's decision to utilise AMG's 4.0-litre V8 struck us as an inspired one initially, but will a drive on UK roads change our minds?
  • Volvo XC40 cornering
    First Drive
    21 November 2017
    Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks