Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution is getting on in years, with the current generation, the Evo X, having been with us since the 2008 model year. Mitsubishi has hinted at launching a radically different successor, but there’s no official word that we’ll ever see such a car in the next year or two. However, the situation may be even starker as a report out of Japan claims the current Evo X will be discontinued at the end of this year and Mitsubishi will use its remaining resources to focus on environmentally friendly cars rather than performance cars.

Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (via World Car Fans) is reporting that Mitsubishi wants to foster an image of electric car leadership and will allocate its resources accordingly. The report adds that the performance image of the Evo previously helped the Japanese brand, especially during the days when it competed in the World Rally Championship, and that now this is in contrast with the new focus on the environment.

We’ve previously heard that Mitsubishi was only delaying the launch of a new Evo, and that it was waiting until it had suitable technology for such a car--namely, a performance hybrid system. Nissan is expected to launch a hybrid GT-R in the coming years, and Toyota may revive its Supra nameplate for a new hybrid sports car, so perhaps Mitsubishi is taking a wait and see approach. Hopefully it doesn’t wait too long as fans of affordable performance have many other options. Some good alternatives include the Ford Fiesta ST, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. All our comparable with the current Evo X, which for 2014 is priced from $35,820.

Stay tuned for an update.

Pictured above is a special edition Evo X launched recently in the U.K. market. Called the FQ-440 MR, the car’s 2.0-liter turbo four has been tuned to deliver 440 horsepower, up from the stock 291 horsepower.


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