Mitsubishi’s Evo performance brand won’t be used on future saloon models, says company chairman and CEO Osamu Masuko. However, it is highly likely it will appear again on a high-performance plug-in hybrid SUV.
Masuko insists the company has no concrete development plan for such a model because it has “lots to do” developing its new mainstream hybrid SUV line-up, but says the company “would like to utilise PHEV technology for high performance”.
Mitsubishi showed one direction of its thinking with the XR-PHEV II concept, revealed in March at the Geneva motor show.
The company has been building an Evolution series of saloons on its long-lived Lancer model since 1993, but it believes small sales and environmental concerns make this the time to stop. It has been testing a high-performance Outlander PHEV off-roader and will enter it in cross-country rallies, starting with a Portuguese event later this year.
“If we can use EV or PHEV technologies for high-performance cars, we could certainly continue,” says Masuko.
As Autocar reported earlier this year, the Evo badge is likely to return first on a high-performance version of the ASX SUV, which could appear as early as 2016. The car would use lessons learnt both from the XR-PHEV II concept and from Mitsubishi's Pikes Peak racer, the MiEV Evolution.
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