Mitsubishi Revives the Lancer with the e-Evolution Concept

After much speculation over the future of the Lancer Evolution, which phased out of production last year, Mitsubishi has finally announced plans to revive it as an electrified SUV at this October’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The first teaser photo of the e-Evolution concept shows very little about the car, other than a bumper diffuser and a sharply angled, aerodynamically focused roof. Initial reports suggest a coupe-like SUV chassis, an electric powertrain, and self-driving capability. No word yet if it is a plug-in hybrid or an EV.

The e-Evolution concept is the progeny of a new strategy emphasizing the increased use of electrification, self-driving, connectivity, and more streamlined operations across partners Renault and Nissan, part of the Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.

A new six-year mandate calls for 12 new electric models and a 30 percent reduction in battery costs by 2022. Also specified are a minimum range and charging time requirement for batteries along with plans to launch a new self-driving taxi service.

Many had breathed a collective sigh of relief with Nissan’s purchase of a controlling stake in the brand last year. According to Carlos Ghosn, CEO, “we intend to deliver on growing synergies, with three autonomous companies cooperating with the efficiency of one. The alliance has grown and performed with two members since 1999; with ‘Alliance 2022’ we will prove that we will grow and perform with three companies or more.”

Immediately, this should alleviate concerns over Mitsubishi’s stalling of key initiatives in recent years, such as last year’s fifth postponement of the Outlander PHEV since its 2013 Japan launch.

Look for the unveiling of the e-Evolution at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in late October.


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