Earlier this year, Mitsubishi announced that they would be reviving the Ralliart brand following a hiatus of over a decade. The announcement was met with joy, especially for fans of the Mitsubishi brand. At the same time, it made a few people (including us) hope for another revival – the Lancer Evolution.
Unfortunately, it seems a new Lancer Evolution won't be happening, not anytime soon at least. According to various Japanese publications, there are no plans for a Lancer Evolution revival on the table, and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation CEO Takao Kato shot down any rumors himself.
There is some good news, though; it seems that Mitsubishi's shareholders want the halo model back. It's interesting to note because shareholders typically care more about maximizing profit, not enthusiast models such as the Evo. With that, a bit of nudge from shareholders might convince the automaker to bring back the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive sedan.
According to the translated report, Kato says he wants to bring back the Evo, but the company needs to “get back on its feet first”. Furthermore, most of the company's funds are invested in the electrification of its lineup. As you may recall, the company plans to launch several battery electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles in a few years, most of which are crossovers. Building a Lancer Evolution isn't something that would be considered a priority.
The revival of the Lancer Evo, however, could help Mitsubishi bring back its illustrious image. The Lancer Evolution, all ten generations of it, represents the height of Mitsubishi's powers in the 1990s and late 2000s. In the hands of Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi was able to propel the Finnish driver to four consecutive WRC titles from 1996 to 1999 with the Evolution III, IV, V, and VI.
The rivalry with Subaru was also at its peak, with Subaru taking the Manufacturer's crown from 1996 to 1998, but Mitsubishi won the Manufacturer's title in 1999 with the Evolution VI.
At the moment, the brand's lineup is comprised mostly of crossovers and SUVs. They're also known for turning some of their famous nameplates into crossovers, such as the Eclipse Cross. The return of their former halo car might be instrumental in bringing some excitement into the brand.
Will we ever see the Lancer Evolution nameplate again? We hope so. Well, just not as a crossover. Anything but that.