The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X could be the last Evo model from the Japanese brand, according to reports out of the Geneva Motor Show.
UK publication Autocar spoke with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) global product director, Gayu Eusegi, who revealed that there would be no ‘Evo XI’ successor.
“There is still a demand [for the car] … but we must stop,” Mr Eusegi said. “Our influence is now EV technology.”
At the beginning of this year, Mitsubishi announced it would launch eight new hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles by 2015, as the brand moves towards a new alternative energy future.
Mr Eusegi said the rally-bred Evolution franchise did not fit with the “policy change” at MMC.
“Maybe the world can change, and maybe someday we can do a motor race by electric vehicles. Maybe then we can enter the market again,” he said.
Mitsubishi Australia’s Lenore Fletcher said she personally had not heard any news about the end of the Evo from MMC head office, but said she had a call in to try to get to get the official word.
Ms Fletcher admitted the brand was heavily focused on hybrid and electric vehicles in the short term.
With the 6000th i-MiEV delivered recently, she said Mitsubishi was determined to further diversify its alternative energy offerings, with plans to introduce a hybrid or EV variant into every model line in the range.
“That will be a huge platform for us going forward,” Ms Fletcher said.
Despite this, she said hybrids and EVs did not necessarily mean the end of performance vehicles from Mitsubishi, with the potential for sports models to be based on the new efficient vehicle architectures.
The Mitsubishi Evolution is one of the most legendary nameplates in recent automotive history, particularly in rally, street and tuning circles.
The original Lancer Evolution I was launched in October 1992, designed to compete in the World Rally Championship. It produced 182kW of power and 309Nm of torque, and had a top speed of 228km/h.
The current-generation Lancer Evolution X follows the trend of all Evos before it, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and an all-wheel drive system. It produces 217kW of power and 366Nm of torque, and in top-spec MR TC-SST form, accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds.
CarAdvice will bring you more news on the future of the Evolution franchise when we hear more.