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If it wasn’t for hybrid technology, Mitsubishi’s all-time hero car the Lancer Evolution, may well be a thing of the past.

At least, that’s what Mitsubishi Motors Corporation President, Osamu Masuko says. The Japanese carmaker has a new solution for its turbocharged all-wheel drive Evolution and it doesn’t include high consumption petrol engines.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to introduce the next generation Lancer Evolution that is similar to what we have today”

said Masuko.

Over the last few years Mitsubishi has begun a repositioning of the brand as a leader in electric vehicles, with special attention to plug-in hybrids, so any new Evo will need be part of the same equation, which means ‘green speed’ or none at all.

That probably means an electric hybrid Evo with in-wheel electric motors, able to deliver the kind of performance credentials synonymous with that of a Lancer Evolution. It’s also not exactly a new idea either. Mitsubishi developed that exact concept back in 2005, but the car was deemed impractical due to both the charge time and driving range.

That’s where the plug-in hybrid makes more sense as those normal limitations would not be there to restrict the car’s range or general drivability.

Mitsubishi is apparently developing the latest in-wheel technology but it’s not ready yet, according to Masuko. Whether the next Lancer Evolution is a hybrid or a plug-in is another unknown, but whatever it ends up being, it’s probably not too far away.

That’s good news for performance car enthusiasts although; this will be one test drive that should spark some hot debate.


  • Rick

    Not interested in a hybrid evo , I won’t buy one

    • “james”

      i think you will find that it will be quicker than the current evos. It will be a mix of both with the electric providing the initial torque which is greater than a petrol engine, then once the car is moving the turbos will kick in, so there should be zero lag and a double “kick” of boost so to say.

      I’m guessing that because of the battery weight, and the power of the electric motors the petrol engine could be smaller, and lighter, with a smaller capacity, maybe 1.5l…who knows.

      either way they need to get the weight balance right.

      I also agree that i’d hate to see it all electric, there is just something about a petrol engine sound that is more exciting than the whir of an electric engine, all the power and torque in the world can replace the emotional value of a petrol engine.

      • “james”

        ..should i say “can’t replace” …

      • Paul

        Engine “emotion” LOL. It’s a 4 banger, they sound like sh*t.

        • gibbut@hotmail.com

          haha yeah!

          my 5.9L chrysler sounds so much better!!!

          shame the 2,0L would own my ass too!

        • theillestlife

          Paul,who cares if its only a 4 cylinder? the performance is available, thats all that matters really.

    • gibbut@hotmail.com

      what if the electric motors torque was used for evil instead of good???

      hybrid sports cars will become more popular because of the instant torque electric motors give!

      its time to misuse hybrid technology!

  • Alexander

    The Tesla Roadster proves electric motors work well in performance cars. A decently powerful electric motor (about 150kw) on the rear axle and a turbo four powering the front (also 150kw) would make a great combo in a evo…

  • Rick

    I’ve owned a couple of evo’s and I just don’t see the driver involvement/enjoyment being there with a hybrid drivetrain, and with the extra weight …………

    • Devil’s Advocate

      How do you know? Have you actually driven a hybrid that has tuned for performance as opposed to economy like the Prius etc? It can’t be that bad if even Ferrari and Porsche have been looking into hybrids…

      Don’t forget that electric motors produce max torque from 0-1rpm. Would be a good way to “plug the low rpm hole” of a smaller capacity turbocharged engine in the case of a hybrid.

      • Devil’s Advocate

        I forgot to mention that Ferrari and Porsche have much more of a reputation of “driver involvement/enjoyment” to uphold than Mitsubishi do with the Evo as that is all they do…

      • Alexander

        Apparently the Infiniti M hybrid is very quick, from memory it does 0-100 in about 5.5s. Hybrids in theory could be tuned for decent performance. Little known fact, but a gen 2 Prius outputs 400nm from about 0-20km/h providing for decent battery charge, they also seem to slip the wheels easily in the wet/gravel when given decent throttle. There’s plenty of opportunity for hybrids to be very quick, just nobody’s done it.

      • Harry

        interesting idea! finally car manufacturers could start tuning petrol engines for optimum power, rather than driveability – I still have the dream of building a VL with low compression and high boost like was common 10yrs ago, or a pp rotary.

    • Alexander

      Whether it looses driver involvement etc is HIGHLY dependant on what kind of hybrid drivetrain Mitsubishi uses. If it’s a parallel hybrid, where the electric motor is sandwiched between the engine/trans, and only assists the engine (like Honda IMA), combined with a manual/auto trans, it will be almost indistinguishable from a regular car (minus the instant torque).

      If it’s a series parallel hybrid, where it can run on petrol, electric or both (like a Prius), that’s where you’ll notice it. If coupled to a CVT/planetary gearset, it will be boring to drive, yet if the motor is attached to a gearbox, between two clutches, in place of a torque converter, it’ll be more ‘normal’ to drive. If it’s a ‘through the road’ hybrid system, (think peugeot 3008) with a regular engine/trans on the front axle, plus an electric motor on the rear, the difference between a regular car wont be that noticeable.

      So it really depends on how Mitsubishi implements the hybrid system as to how much driver involvement (if any) is lost…

  • JJ

    @Rick

    I suggest you get used to it. All cars are heading in this direction.

    • Rick

      In that case I’ll keep my old ones

      • JJ

        Paul, I agree with you, but unfortunately we need to look to the future. We can’t keep using cars with the current emissions they produce despite how awesome they are.

        I see “hybrid” and think it’s a lesser engine, but the reality is it’s still in it’s infancy and is a whole lot better for the future.

        Car companies understand that people like to drive powerful cars and they aren’t going to change that. It’s why they are working on these techs and they will keep improving.

        We can’t keep driving around in fuel guzzling carbon producing rumbling V16′s forever…

    • Rick

      The only hybrid I have driven is a Lexus ct200h and it sucked , it was about as” connected” as an xbox . Aside for a tesla what else is there

      • Al Juraj

        Don’t judge the Evo hybrid until you’ve driven it. It’s quite clear you’ve been spreading hot air in this thread in spite of the lack of evidence that substantiates your claims. The Lexus isn’t designed for performance. It’s for those who simply want a badged Prius. The petrol-electric Lancer will be a completely different machine. It’s about keeping the performance while increasing economy.

        • Rick

          At al juraj , it’s funny how an opinion different to yours is ” hot air” . I stand by my opinion ” I’m not interested in a hybrid evo and with the extra weight that will be added I doubt that it will be as good to drive ” , quicker? maybe, and given that you haven’t driven one any more than I have ,how do you know it’s going to be ” a completely different machine” , ” with performance and economy ” remember this is a comments section and is generally opinions . Which we are both entitled to

  • Paul

    Not only would an AWD EVO EV powered by Wheel motors blow ANYTHING else on the road away 0-100, it would also be the first Evo to eliminate the risk of destroying the clutch with 1 too many 6,000 rpm standing starts and the first Evo to truly have zero turbo lag!

    Electric motors have instant acceleration, at any speed… and having one directly controlling each wheel individually makes a laundry list of high performance dynamics features such as active diffs, yaw control, ISC, ABS emergency brake assist become a software application.

    The tuning limits of such a vehicle will be staggering.

    • Rick

      I hope your right , but with the exception of the tesla it hasn’t been done yet

      • X10

        Which is why it’s better to shut up before bashing something that doesn’t even exist yet. Wait for it first before trolling around here.

        • Rick

          @X10 So there you have it you can only have an opinion if it’s exactly the same as the press release , it’s funny how people will assume it’s going to be good and that’s ok, but if you assume it’s going to suck you don’t know anything. good one genius

  • UMWHAT

    just make a diesel evo

    • X10

      UMMORON!

      • UMWHAT

        UMBOGAN

        • http://Facebook Jerome Jackson

          hahahahaha…

  • Stooge

    No no no no and no. The GTR is going harder and Mitsubishis hero car is getting gayer. It had better be good.

    • Thrillhouse

      Sweet homophobia there brah.

      • Vince

        Truth hurts. Evo drivers don’t carry handbags brah.

    • Alexander

      I know a gay guy that owns an R35 GTR… awkward for you.

      • Vince

        That’s fine… he’s got a GTR which isn’t batting for the wrong team.

  • FrugalOne

    Mitsubishi Inc. know EXACTLY the performance required by the punters, and the already legend status of the Evo brand.

    It WILL be spot on, a landmark vehicle, faster/quicker and much greener than todays, and World Car of The Year to boot!

    win x win

    • Steven A

      ABSOLUTELY!

  • Corkas

    Just happy the evo looks like it may live on at this point and hopefully continue to bring a good driving experience at an affordable price…

    :3

  • HybridMagic

    Mitsubishi and other hybrid car manufacturers are following the top motor racing trend…Formula One.

    Top F1 teams use KERS on their cars.
    1) Extra power boost for quicker acceleration out of slow corners and aid overtaking.
    2) Regenerative braking reduces brake wears and avoid overheating.
    3) Smaller size turbo engine and use of lightweight material to compensate extra weight of battery and electric motor. (i.e. new F1 engine rule in 2014)