Democracy can be a messy and ugly thing to watch in practice.
Especially when it's being pointed toward carmakers, which aren't often the subject of mass protests pointed toward their future product lines.
This morning, we received an e-mail with a link to a Causes page urging Mitsubishi not to "desecrate" its Lancer Evolution model (universally called the Evo) by greening it.
"The carmaker might not kill the Evo, but it could turn it into a greener development," warns the site. "We don't want a hybrid Evo or larger vehicle with another name that uses a similar 4WD system - the current recipe of the Evolution is what we need."
2009 Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV
Because the ONLY way to get awesome all-wheel-drive performance is with a gasoline engine, we presume. No other formulas will do, and no powertrain progress is possible under any circumstances.
It all began with a startling report two days ago that suggested the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo may be killed off once the current model (known as the Evo X) had run its course after 2013.
"Further to some comments published in the press recently, production of the current Lancer Evolution continues as planned. As for its successor, regulations and market feedback will dictate its engineering package & architecture. Stay tuned."
Reason would suggest that automakers rarely kill off their halo cars or highly popular models lusted after by 14-year-old boys worldwide. It happens, but not much.
The concern among the faithful seems to be that the next Evo could well include--please sit down, this prospect is truly appalling--an electric or hybrid powertrain. Perhaps it would be nothing more than a stripes kit on the electric 2012 Mitsubishi 'i'?
Oh, the horror.
Because, as any auto fan knows, every single hybrid or electric vehicle is contemptibly awful to drive, its owners are nerdy or self-righteous eco-Nazis, electricity will never replace gasoline for performance, and ... yeah, whatever.
Guys: Isn't that worldview just a little 2006?
Cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, the Audi e-Tron line of all-electric sports models--even the Tesla Roadster that started it all back in 2008--decisively prove that electricity and kick-ass performance can reside in the same vehicle.
2011 Tesla Roadster Sport. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.
We kinda like the idea of a plug-in Evo that might allow us to terrorize suburban neighborhoods while burning less gasoline and fueling up on cheap electrons.
But, y'know, that's just us.
In any case, we won't be joining the group to keep the Evo 'pure,' but perhaps some of you will. When we last looked, the group had fewer than 100 members, but we imagine that number will rise substantially.
As the saying goes, democracy is the worst way to organize a country (or get feedback on future product plans).
Except for all the others, of course.