We already expected the next Lancer Evo to appear in a hybrid, not-really-a-sports-sedan form, but now it looks like it might not appear at all. The latest news out of Geneva comes via Autocar, from the mouth of Gayu Eusegi, Mitsubishi's global product director, who says there will be no Evo beyond the X.
The reason? Electric vehicle technology and pushing in a different direction from the rally-bred performance of its past. Meeting emissions and fuel economy regulations leaves little or no place for an Evo in the lineup--the mixed message of high-efficiency and the Evo's high-performance would confuse consumers, according to Eusegi.
We're saddened by the news, but not particularly surprised. The talk of a hybrid Evo had largely erased it from our future vocabulary as a true contender, anyway, as it would either be crippled in search of efficiency or even more expensive than the current Evo X for similar performance. Either way, there are better options for the money.
For Mitsubishi's fans and those that grew up watching the brand win rallies, however, it's a loss that won't soon be forgotten.