As car makers become ever more environmentally focused and car segments increasingly diversify, there are certain types of car that can unfortunately no longer exist comfortably in the present world, but will hopefully live a prosperous second life as a classic. Let’s take the Mitsubishi Evo as an example.
Ignore whether the current Evo X is the best Evo for a second and just think what a car like this stands for. It’s a highly tuned, highly specialised, high performance saloon popularised by (and indeed only in existence as a road car because of) the likes of Richard Burns and Tommi Mäkinen during one of the World Rally Championship’s more memorable eras.
While us enthusiasts may love it (it is really rather blooming brilliant after all, enough to fill several blogs with), Mitsubishi is struggling to justify its future existence. You see, Mitsubishi is keen to start making lots of electric cars and hybrids, and the Evo – with its horrendous fuel economy and CO2 emissions – will be the most high profile casualty of this, probably switching to a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for the Evo XI. Hmm.
So where does this leave the current car? While not many of us have bought one new (and why not? It’s got four seats, a big boot and will get you to your destination at least two hours quicker than a diesel Focus), this bodes well for its value as a classic a few years down the line.
Those who have bought them are also likely to be real enthusiasts, who can afford to keep to the Evo’s notorious servicing intervals and want to keep their car standard. Low sales figures also ensure a rarity value.
And who will be buying cars like the Evo as classics when the original keepers reluctantly sell? Classic cars become classics because they are bought be people who idolised them when they were growing up. When they have the money to afford another car as a luxury, these are the cars they invariably crave to own.
So cars like the Evo and Subaru Impreza WRX STI should be guaranteed a second life as classics when the Playstation generation matures into potential classic cars owners. This is a generation that is into cars and knows about cars from playing Gran Turismo; for them, an Evo is far cooler than any Bentley.
While this may not save the Evo as we know it from the axe, there’s still a whole new audience out there ready and willing to discover its charms.