Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (Automotive News Daily) reports Mitsubishi will discontinue Evo production in the second half of this year due to weakening demand for its ageing sports car.
The end of production of the 10th
-generation Evolution will mark the end of an era for Mitsubishi. The current iteration has been on sale since 2007, while the Evo nameplate dates back more than two decades to 1992.
Speaking with CarAdvice at November’s Tokyo motor show, Mitsubishi managing director of product projects and strategy Ryogu Nakao confirmed Evolution X would be “the last of its kind”. He said a successor to the current Evo – which would likely take the shape of a smaller, plug-in hybrid model – remained up in the air at this stage, and admitted its future would be dependent on customer demand.
Adding to the uncertainty is the doubt surrounding the Mitsubishi Lancer small car. The current version has also been on sale since 2007, and a new-generation model, potentially twinned with a future compact Renault model, is not expected until 2016 at the earliest.
Mitsubishi UK released a special Lancer Evolution X FQ-440 MR edition last week to mark the brand’s 40th
anniversary in the market. A host of exterior, interior and mechanical enhancements lift the limited edition variant high above the regular Evo, including an engine ECU remap that boosts power and torque to a whopping 328kW and 559Nm – up an astonishing 111kW and 193Nm.
Mitsubishi Australia told CarAdvice it has no plans to offer a similarly tuned Evo special in our market however, electing to instead stick with the standard car. The local division introduced a subtly upgraded 2014 Lancer Evo X in August, with two variants priced at $56,990 and $65,990.