You might have seen our coverage earlier this week on “EV Killed the EVO Star: Mitsubishi Kills the EVO.” It seemed like an appropriate play on words and even more appropriate is the response. Yes, that would be denial and redirection. Mitsubishi was quick to post on its Facebook page a response to the reports that the EVO would be dead after this model year. So the update—it won’t be dead until next model year or 2013 for those keeping track.
Okay, okay, so it isn’t necessarily that it will be dead, but it might just change. The company is “considering not advancing the Lancer Evolution concept in the same way as before,” in order to find “a different direction for the Lancer Evolution model to evolve.” For the skeptics out there this isn’t reassuring since to date there aren’t a lot of “high-performance, affordable” hybrid vehicles. Unless you fancy a Tesla affordable—if you do then your paycheck is probably a lot healthier than most consumers. That said, the current Lancer Evolution isn’t cheap at a starting MSRP of $34,755. You can slip behind the wheel of a number of competitors for less than that...except for one thing—All-wheel drive with a variable differential.
The price of the EVO might not be super cheap, but then you have to consider that there is a ton of performance technology in that car. The all-wheel drive system has different settings for gravel, snow, etc… The cars grip is better than a Lamborghini—just review the top gear footage. In essence the EVO is a super car in off-road clothing. Some have dinged this power superhero for only getting 17 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. Okay, well considering a Nissan Maxima only does 21 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, I guess that really isn’t that bad for an pretty intense sports car that is capable of competing in an off-road hill climb or on-track road race.
Bottom-line—we believe Mitsubishi let the cat out of the bag before they intended to. Changing the EVO to some EV type of concept and then keeping the same name as the current gas powered pavement pounder is probably not going to resonate with the market. So our hunch is Mitsubishi will take the brand a new direction. Maybe it will be the Mitsubishi Evolved.
[Source: Facebook and Car and Driver]