Mitsubishi’s U.S. chief has confirmed what most of us already knew: That there won’t be a direct replacement for the awesome Lancer Evolution when the current model bows out of the market after the 2015 model year.

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Speaking with Motor Trend, Don Swearingen, executive vice president for Mitsubishi in the U.S., said the Evo’s time had “come and gone” and that cars like the MiEV Evolution III electric racer hint at what the future has in store.

But before the Evo finally races off into the sunset, Swearingen said Mitsubishi will launch a special edition model to mark its end.

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As previously reported, Mitsubishi isn’t giving up on performance cars but has stated that any Evo replacement will be very different to past generations of the car, with many suggesting it will be a hybrid SUV not unlike the automaker’s Concept XR-PHEV. Unfortunately, it may be several years still until we see the replacement launched, as Mitsubishi has also said it won’t start development until it has suitable technology.

During his latest interview, Swearingen also said Mitsubishi remained committed to the U.S. market despite its small and aging lineup. He said that before the arrival of some next-generation cars, Mitsubishi will launch a more powerful Outlander Sport and a facelifted Outlander. The latter will feature the styling and plug-in hybrid drivetrain of the recent Outlander PHEV Concept-S and will make its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show in April.


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