We have all manner of unofficial metrics in the auto industry. No doubt you've heard some of them, like the butt dyno. Another popular measure is the smiles-per-dollar index - how entertaining is a car versus its price. Cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Scion FR-S and Mini Cooper S, for example, score quite highly, while vehicles like the BMW M5 or Audi RS7 are great to drive, but score lower because of their much higher price tags. For a long time, the king of the smiles-per-dollar index was arguably the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, which blended hair-raising thrills for the price of a well-equipped Ford Fusion Titanium.

Now, it looks like the Evo will need to hand over its title, as this generation of the rally-derived rocket is likely to be Mitsubishi's last – at least for a while. There's been no mention of just when production of the current car will end, so if you're in the market, we'd suggest trying to find a dealer with inventory ASAP. The news comes from the automaker's Japanese mothership, which says the brand will instead focus on utility vehicles and EVs. While there are no direct plans for a successor, an Evo XI as it were, the door remains open for a different kind of beast, according to Mitsubishi.

"Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan," said Namie Koketsu, a spokesperson for Mitsubishi, according to Automotive News. "Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology."

Truth be told, this has been a long time coming. The death of the current Evo and its resurrection with a set of batteries has been whispered about for years. We most recently reported on it a few months ago. And we're optimistic about a future hybrid successor for the high-performance Lancer. Consider the way the top echelon of the auto industry has embraced performance hybrids – with cars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder, the idea of a high-performance hybrid is gaining traction. This certainly has us less fearful of an electrified Evo successor.

Still, we'd be lying if we said we weren't feeling pretty terrible about the end of the Evo X. We'd like to know how you feel, though. Should Mitsubishi have done this years ago? Would you consider a hybridized successor if the smiles-per-dollar index were similar to the current car? Should there be a gas-powered Evo XI? Let us know what you think in Comments.


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  • 119 Comments
      Dr Zoidberg
      • 8 Months Ago
      Dead MANufacturer walking.
      ffelix422
      • 8 Months Ago
      Yeah Mitsu, kill all the good stuff: EVO, Montero, Eclipse, Galant VR4, Starion..... Might as well pack up and leave the USA. I mean what else do they offer??? No, really?!
      Toddley
      • 8 Months Ago
      These types of decisions are why their sales continue to plummet.
        Jazzor
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Toddley
        On the contrary, they've been posting better numbers month after month since the beginning of 2013. The Evo is a very limited selling car for them.
      Cruising
      • 8 Months Ago
      Enthusiast, :-( Executive, :-)
      Typesbad
      • 8 Months Ago
      It does not surprising that a company as small as what Mitsubishi US has become, could continue to field such a sophisticated niche vehicle. It is a shame that it has come this way for Mitsubishi, but it goes to show what happens when you have long been without a strong competitor in a high volume segment. Something has to pay the bills.
      bc3091
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't think an electric/hybrid Evo would be wise, because it would up the price. That is, if they make a new Evo at all.
        Nelson
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bc3091
        I find the statement "Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan," oddly specific. Current concept. Gasoline-powered. Might there be a possibility of a future concept not only powered by gas but assisted by electric motors? Only electric? Or gasoline-powered but for whatever cost-cutting reason only two-wheel drive?
      Avinash Machado
      • 8 Months Ago
      My condolences to Acid Tonic.
      Actionable Mango
      • 8 Months Ago
      Lots of people here repeating old news of plummeting sales and huge losses. Mitsubishi's global fortunes have rebounded from years of losses to profits that are actually record-breaking. We're talking nearly $400 million profit per quarter. In the USA news is not as good for Mits. Nevertheless, contrary to perceptions here, quarterly losses are falling and 2014 should be a break-even year. They are also investing in an expensive upgrade to the factory in Normal, IL to increase its capacity.
      • 8 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      rsholland
      • 8 Months Ago
      Not surprised. The company, at least here, is on life support.
      Neez
      • 8 Months Ago
      Mama NO!!!!!!! If they made a kickass hybrid EVO, they would earn hybrid respect and propel themselves into the hybrid market as a true competitor with their lower tier cars, like a base hybrid lancer. I guess they are trying to win people over with the upcoming Outlander plug in. Oh well, i hope mitsubishi doesn't die out, their sales have been lackluster lately due to poor product offerings.
      brianXL
      • 8 Months Ago
      If they can do something creative with an electric-drive component that makes this car still feel like an Evo should, then it'll be worth doing. If they slap the Evolution name on something that sucks, well, that would be a shame. Maybe an electrified rear-drive unit integrated with a high performance gasoline engine up front. Give it a plug-in mode, too. I could see guys at autocrosses plugging their car into a generator between runs to make sure they had 100% electric power for their next run.
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