2010 Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionEnlarge Photo
Nakao explained that future Mitsubishis, including sports models like the Evo, need to meet tough new fuel economy standards like CAFE. That means that the next Evo would need to adopt an alternative drivetrain, he revealed, but one that is still sporty; something Mitsubishi simply doesn’t have on the shelf.
"When the right timing comes, when we have the right technology... we would consider that in future," Nakao is quoted as saying. "At this moment, we have to concentrate on SUV, PHEV and EV."
Mitsubishi is about to embark on a platform-sharing deal with Renault Nissan to aid development of a range of new models including the next Lancer, but none of these shared platforms will be used for a new Evo. Nakao said any sports car from Mitsubishi would have to be developed alone.
His comments tie in with previous reports that suggested Mitsubishi’s next Evo would use a bespoke platform as well as some kind of hybrid drivetrain. Unfortunately, a lack of resources to develop the new platform and drivetrain means Mitsubishi’s priorities lie elsewhere.
Some of those priorities are likely to include a new Montero SUV (a Pajero for overseas readers), a new Outlander Sport and more electric cars. Just these kind of vehicles were shown in concept form at the recent 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.