The Mitsubishi Lancer could soon return, but in the form of a sporty crossover competing in the small passenger car and SUV segments according to a new report out of the UK.
Speaking with Auto Express, Trevor Mann, chief operating officer for Mitsubishi Motors, said the Japanese brand is now looking into a new-generation small car to continue where the now-discontinued Lancer left off.
"We have a long-range product plan that’s pretty solid until 2025, and a dotted line beyond that," he said, "Within that what we’ve said is, ‘Which vehicles do we want? What are we going to work on?"
"Lancer’s probably the easiest one; we believe we’ve got a solution that could fit the segment. Because if you look globally, the C-segment hatchback [Golf and Focus] market is not shrinking," he continued.
"It’s down a bit in the US and Europe. But its numbers are still expanding in China. So there is appeal. And I think because the segment is so large globally, we’ve got to take a look at it.'
Meanwhile, chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto said the design of the e-Evolution concept (pictured) shown at last year's Tokyo motor show would be great for a new small car – even hinting Mitsubishi's next competitor in the segment could be a crossover of sorts.
"Just because it’s C-segment doesn’t mean it has to be a very conventional hatchback," he said.
"Maybe we can create a new type of hatchback vehicle. We’re thinking quite radically. Originality is as much a part of the Mitsubishi design philosophy now as consistency."
The British publication adds the new Lancer would likely be based on the Alliance's CMF C/D platform – which currently underpins the Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail and Renault Megane – which is capable of supporting a crossover body while also allowing for hybrid technology.