The publication reported that after seriously considering dropping the Evo entirely, Mitsubishi has given the green light to the research and development team to create a diesel hybrid, aiming to avoid tightening emissions regulations in many of the car’s key markets.
The combination of an electric motor and a torquey diesel engine could still deliver 0-100km/h times while also cutting CO2 emissions below 200g/km.
Meanwhile, the next-generation STi is also expected to feature a diesel engine.
Set to be an enhanced version of the 110kW/350Nm EE engine currently offered in Impreza models in Europe, a turbo-diesel STi could debut as early as 2012.
And while a hybrid system is expected in the Impreza at some stage in the future, the Evo is likely to beat it to production.
In a similar attempt to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, Subaru is also believed to be looking at downsizing its petrol engines for the STi, with a 1.5-litre unit reportedly under consideration.