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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.