Report: Powerful Shareholders Want the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution to Make a Comeback
If you’re a fan of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, then you’ll remember its abrupt demise for the 2016 model year. Unfortunately for this iconic Mitsubishi, not enough buyers pulled out their wallets to support it at their local dealership. Since its disappearance, the Japanese carmaker has had a massive void in its sports car division. For the U.S. market specifically, Mitsubishi only offers a few small crossovers.
However, a new report covered by The Drive highlights that several shareholders recently voiced their interest in reviving the iconic nameplate. Despite this, it seems the brand has bigger fish to fry, starting with its efforts to become profitable once again.
Why did the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution die in the first place?
Before we dive into the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution’s future, let’s take a look at what caused its demise back in 2016. As you might imagine, it all comes down to sales, and such a niche product was costing the Japanese carmaker money rather than generating it. According to CarSalesBase, the entire Lancer range, including the base models, routinely sold well under 20,000 units per year. In contrast, other small sedans such as the Elantra routinely sell well into the six figures.
According to Mitsubishi’s official response, the carmaker pulled the plug because its customers wanted crossovers for added practicality. On the surface, this makes complete sense as a small SUV is far easier to sell than a road-going rally car. Additionally, the brand expressed its efforts to embrace an electrified lineup of vehicles.
Regardless of what officially killed the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, it seems the Japanese carmaker might not be in the best financial state to revive it.
Who wants this rally car back?
It seems the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has some friends in high places, more specifically amongst the Japanese carmaker’s shareholders. According to The Drive, a recent shareholder’s meeting saw several people asking for the revival of the Evo. As far as influencing real change, the shareholders have significantly more pull than any average enthusiast.
The question arose as the Japanese carmaker announced its plans to revive its Ralliart division and efforts to compete in motorsport once again. However, The Drive reports that Mitsubishi’s CEO, Takao Kato, quickly cited the company’s financials to make a case against its revivals.
Despite making excellent efforts to boost profits, the Japanese carmaker still isn’t profitable. Additionally, Kato cited the brand’s efforts to develop electrified models and how much research and development money it’ll require. As a result, it seems the Evo won’t make a comeback just yet.
Will we ever see another Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?
At this point, it seems the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is dead for good. However, this doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of having a sporty Mitsubishi sometime in the distant future. If the brand decides to pivot toward making a sports sedan in the future, it’ll likely be an electric one. The Japanese carmaker has repeatedly stated its intentions to go electric, which means that all models might eventually follow that path.