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Mitsubishi Lines Up Plug-In Hybrid, 500 HP Evolution Model

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2008 Mitsubishi Concept-RA

2008 Mitsubishi Concept-RA

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Electrically-powered vehicles that match regular combustion cars for performance are no longer a surprise, many of those barriers eroded thanks to companies like Tesla Motors.

Now it's the turn of the performance plug-in hybrid, with Mitsubishi's next Evolution model expected to deliver a 500-horsepower punch to match the high-tech Nissan GT-R.

Mitsubishi has built decades of heritage on performance variants of its humble Lancer sedan.

The Evolution badge first graced a Lancer in 1992, and in the intervening years Mitsubishi turned it into a championship-winning rally car and high-performance road car respected the world over.

The latest model has long expected to be a hybrid model, potentially even a diesel hybrid--but Autocar reports the car's technology may have stepped up another notch, allowing it to compete with Japan's fastest production road car, the Nissan GT-R.

That means an output of around 500 horsepower, with plug-in electric drivetrain technology inspired by the company's Pikes Peak MiEV Evolution challengers.

It may follow a tamer plug-in hybrid Lancer, said to use technology from the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid currently on sale in Japan. The Lancer plug-in hybrid could use a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and twin electric motor setup, with an all-electric range of around 40 miles.

While the Evolution may use elements of this plug-in drivetrain, the Evolution may well use a completely different body style, taking it away from the familiar sedan format. Styling could be more similar to 2008's Concept-RA, shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.

After several years in the doldrums, will high-performance models, plug-in hybrids and economical city cars like the Mirage be the cars to once again raise Mitsubishi's profile? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comment (1)
  1. I love what is happening. I always wondered what form electrics would take on merging their way into the mainstream. It looks like plug in electrics with sexy raw power will win over the public and bring the revolution I've been waiting for. It looks like 2015+ will be the break out year for dozens and dozens of models breaking out. It's here. Nothing can compete with an electric. Gas is the past. If you want to win drag races or any other thing, you Will own an electric. Beautiful. Come on car companies. Show me what you can do!
     
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