One of the more interesting things about the Mitsubishi Outlander, launched in Geneva, is the hybrid powertrain that will appear in it from later this year.

At both front and rear it has electric motors, so there’s no mechanical link between the axles; and there’s a petrol engine/generator at the front that can be coupled, or de-clutched, from the front wheels.

Now, in the Outlander that’s interesting enough – the CO2 emissions levels should be lower than 50g/km, which is remarkable.

But what it could do for the next-generation Lancer might be even more interesting. There will be a sporting version of the next Lancer saloon and, even though it won’t be an Evolution as we know it (it’ll have in common with rallying what hairdressing does with penguins), it will wear the Evolution XI tag.

And it’ll have a variant of this hybrid system, which Mitsubishi says has “no issues” in being applied to models that are either more rugged, or more sporting, than the Outlander.

For me, the fascinating thing is that its control system could apply power to whichever wheels it wants, whenever it wants. Great if you were mud-plugging in a future Shogun and only one wheel had traction.

Great too if, say, you had a Mitsubishi Evo XI and you wanted it to be totally front-driven, totally rear-driven, or any combination of the two, at any given time.

We’re quite used to torque-sensing differentials and clutches diverting power around, but never to the extent and flexibility, and with the speed of response, that Mitsubishi’s could offer. It could wildly oversteer yet also be totally unspinnable. And it sounds to me like that could make quite the laugh.