Over the past couple of years, Mitsubishi has been dropping hints that its successor to its rally-bred Lancer Evolution would take the form of an SUV and feature an electrified powertrain. Now we have a few more details by way of Mitsubishi’s new chief Tetsuro Aikawa.
Speaking with Autocar, Aikawa said the famous Evo tagline could come to represent something new. He explained that the “oh” sound in Evo is similar to the Japanese word for “king”, and when combined with EV, short for “electric vehicle”, creates the new meaning of electric vehicle king.
Aikawa also said that the new Evo would still need to be based on a regular model from the automaker’s lineup, with most suggesting that the next-generation Outlander Sport (ASX in other markets), previewed by the recent XR-PHEV II concept car, would be the donor vehicle. The XR-PHEV II, shown above, features a sporty design and is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
The new Outlander Sport is expected on the market next year but it might be a few years until we see the Evo version. That’s because the new Evo will only be developed if Mitsubishi sells “a lot” of the regular version to cover the necessary research and development costs, Aikawa explained.
Some of the R&D has already commenced, with Mitsubishi’s MiEV Evolution series of Pikes Peak racers being used to test high-performance electrified drivetrains and next-gen Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) traction technology.
As for the current Evo X, Mitsubishi has rolled out a ‘Final Edition’ and confirmed production will come to an end this year.