- Mitsubishi’s newest teaser could mean a new Evo 11 concept
- Mitsubishi hasn’t had a Lancer Evolution since 2017
- Subaru’s WRX STI desperately needs a Japanese competitor
We miss the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution dearly. Competition is healthy for the auto industry, and the Subaru WRX STI has been without a direct Japanese (read: Mitsubishi) competitor since 2017. But now, there’s a ray of hope. High-level shareholders are pushing for a new Lancer. Plus, Mitsubishi just dropped some teaser images of its new Ralliart brand. And they look an awful lot like the back of a sedan. Maybe even… a Lancer sedan?
Is the Evo coming back?
So, this is the image. Let’s discuss why this could be the new Evo 11. First, we’ll start with the Ralliart brand. This falls into the trend of reviving dead names from automotive history, a-la Ford Bronco. Ralliart was Mitsubishi’s performance arm back in the day. Think of them as a sort of M to BMW or AMG to Mercedes-Benz. Ralliart was responsible for the development of the brand’s rally racing and off-road racing vehicles.
Sounds an awful lot like Ralliart helped on cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, doesn’t it? Then there’s the shape of that rear diffuser. It looks an awful lot like the diffuser of the now-dead Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10, complete with rain light. All this to say nothing of the height of the vehicle. Squint a little and you can make out the rear tire. A rough visual approximation reveals the ride height to be more Evo 11 than Outlander Sport.
Mitsubishi said there won’t be an Evo 11
However, despite the potential for a new Evo 11, we have to address some issues. First is the ride height of the concept car. The Mustang Mach E GT is a crossover SUV that has almost the same ride height as cars like the Ford Mustang Mach 1. This could still be a crossover, folks. But that’s not the real issue. The true problem lies in a statement given to the Japanese Media outlet Response back in July of this year.
Mitsubishi Motors President and CEO Takao Kato had two things to say to Response. First, he confirmed that the Ralliart brand does in fact mean the return of Mitsubishi to rally racing. Tommi Makinen’s ears just pricked up. However, Kato also told Response there were no plans for a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Mitsubishi killed the Lancer in 2017
As we know, Mitsubishi axed the Lancer, and the Evolution trim with it, back in 2017 to focus on crossovers, SUVs, and EVs. Could some minds have been changed since July? It’s possible. But the above teaser is of an actual car. It’s pretty unlikely Mitsubishi was able to design an Evo 11 concept in just a few months. We’ll have to wait for the full reveal at Tokyo Auto Salon in a few days’ time to know for sure.