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Report: Mitsubishi Planning Hybrid Drivetrain For Evolution XI

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Nearly 300 horsepower of turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, twin-clutch rally-bred fun is a hard package to improve on, yet a report out today hints that Mitsubishi is planning to just that for the next generation of the Lancer Evolution--with a hybrid powertrain.

Batteries and brawn don't mix, you say? Well, there's a fair argument to be made, but the report's details explain how the all-wheel-drive hybrid system might just add something special to the mix. Instead of a simply assisting the gasoline engine, the rumored hybrid drive system would send 63 horsepower from an electric motor through the front wheels only, while the 320-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder would power the rear. Working in concert, they could deliver up to 350 horsepower, enough to rocket the car to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. That's about four-tenths quicker than the current car.

This arrangement would allow the next-gen Evo XI to drive short distances on electricity alone, while allowing the torquey electric motor to assist low-speed acceleration in performance driving, much like the application of hybrid tech to cars like Lexus's GS and LS line. The heavily rear-biased power application is likely to make the Evo XI less prone to terminal understeer, but might also make it a bit more vicious on unpaved roads and other slippery surfaces.

Two other high-tech additions are also planned, according to the report: active steering and roll control suspension. These two features are intended to make the increasingly heavy and complex Evo handle more nimbly. Helping to tame the rear-biased power delivery will be an updated version of Mitsubishi's electronically controlled active yaw control system.

The next-gen Mitsubishi Evolution XI isn't due to hit production until 2013, however, so much may yet change.

[Motor Trend]

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  1. It will be a complex purchase decision involving an evaluation of operating costs, carbon benefits, and potential range limitations, as well as product features.This should be something to look forward to!! Hybrid could really give a major boost to power, as well as efficiency, and the torque in the electric motor is from a standing start!! It now appears that the hotly received Infinite Essence concept is a test bed for this system. I understand, too, that there is a possibility that the Essence could be produced after all - let's hope!!!!
     
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