2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR – Click above for high-res image gallery
According to Gayu Eusegi, head of global product development for Mitsubishi, the Lancer Evolution X will be the last Evo the Japanese automaker ever builds. Eusegi says the move is part of a shift in strategy to put the company's product focus and ethos on leadership in EV technology.
To that end, Autocar indicates that Mitsubishi will release eight fully-electric or hybrid-electric cars by the time 2015 rolls around, and make a grab for a big portion of the CO2-reduction market share. It goes without saying that the fun-yet-fuel-swilling Evo just doesn't fit that mindset, particularly since it apes a rally car that no longer exists.
Despite the Evo's huge popularity, Mitsubishi apparently isn't scared of the step and says it's confident that consumers will glom on to the idea and rally behind the brand. By killing the Evo, they're making their intentions plain to an increasingly environmentally-conscious car-buying public.
Eusegi killed dead any notion that the brand would roll out a performance-oriented hybrid as well. "Maybe the world can change, and maybe someday we can do a motor race by electric vehicles. Maybe then we can enter the market agian," he said.
This report of the Evo's death would seem to stand in contrast to multiple reports that an Evo XI is in the works with a hybrid drivetrain. We're taking this latest Autocar missive with a few grains of salt, as we can see how Eusegi may have simply meant that an Evo that relies exclusively on internal combustion is dead – a hybrid Evo would seem to offer a nice technological bridge to Mitsubishi's more electrically minded future. Hat tip to Dennis!