The press release Mitsubishi released today is ostensibly about the new naming scheme for the JDM Lancer, details of which can be found in paragraph 2 below. Of far greater importance, however, is the fact that the photos included with the release reveal the closest look yet at a production Evo X. They're officially described as a "design study," but we probably expect this to be a near-100% representation of the production car's appearance. There are differences between it and the Prototype X that was shown in Detroit earlier this year. These include a new grille, foglights, different mirrors, more detailed taillamps, slightly different headlamps (note the amber indicators), and new wheels. The hood from the Prototype X is carried over, as is the vent aft of the front wheel well. Like the show car, the production design study sports Brembos with red-painted calipers. Keep in mind that nothing is officially official until Mitsubishi pulls the wraps off the final production car. This is as close as we'll get until that happens, and we think it looks excellent. You can compare the Prototype X to the Lancer Evolution X via the galleries below. Now, on to the naming scheme.
In Japan, the redesigned Mitsubishi Lancer has been renamed Galant Fortis. We're sure Mitsubishi has a reason for this other than the fact that Fortis in Latin means "strong, steadfast and courageous," but they don't spell one out in their press release. The release also contains news that the highly-anticipated Lancer Evolution X will indeed be called -- wait for it -- the Lancer Evolution X when it arrives in Japan. (In Europe and the US, it'll be called the Lancer Evolution.) There's also word that in Europe, a 5-door Lancer will bow in September.
So, to summarize: In Japan, it looks like the Lancer nameplate has been reserved solely for the go-fast rally-style road carver. Fine by us (like it matters) -- and just for clarification, in the US, the Lancer is still called the Lancer. The Galant name is reserved for that big sedan with the funny-looking steering wheel.
PR after the jump.
MITSUBISHI MOTORS ANNOUNCES NAMES OF TWO MODELS DUE FOR JAPAN DOMESTIC MARKET RELEASE THIS FALL
--"GALANT FORTIS" sedan & "LANCER EVOLUTION X" high-performance 4WD sedan --
Tokyo, 26 April, 2007 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced the names of two new models. The U.S.-market Lancer will be renamed "GALANT FORTIS" for the Japan domestic market. Also, Mitsubishi's rally-inspired, high-performance 4WD sedan will carry the name "LANCER EVOLUTION X"*..
The development concept for the new Galant Fortis* calls for a "new-generation global sedan with world-class levels of safety, environmental performance and comfort". Distinguishing features include: a high-rigidity platform that delivers excellent crashworthiness; a new 2-liter engine with aluminum cylinder block that delivers high power output and returns excellent fuel efficiency; exterior styling that imparts a broad stance and sporty lines; and a spacious, well appointed cabin.
* Latin for strong, steadfast, courageous.
The development concept for the all-new Lancer Evolution X specifies a "new-generation high-performance 4WD global sedan that allows all levels of driver to enjoy the car's speed and handling with ease and in safety". The new model features Mitsubishi's S-AWC** traction and handling system, that integrates the control of drive torque and braking management with the four-wheel drive system to help realize highly responsive and intuitive handling in addition to outstanding vehicle attitude stability. Other examples of Mitsubishi Motors' latest automotive technology to be featured in the new model include a new lightweight and high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged MIVEC*** engine with aluminum cylinder block and a 6-speed automated manual transmission that contributes to exceptional performance with improved fuel economy. The car's performance-driven design makes the car's extreme potential clear, while cockpit design focuses the driver's attention on operating his machine.
* "X" ("Ten") stands for the tenth iteration of the Lancer Evolution released on the Japan domestic market. (In other markets the car will be called "LANCER EVOLUTION".)
** Super All Wheel Control
*** Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control System: Mitsubishi Motors variable valve system