Lots of huge news from Mitsubishi Owner's Day, 2017! This being in part a 100th anniversary celebration of the brand as a carmaker (in addition to the 12th annual MOD) we expected some big announcements, but we couldn't have imagined what took place. Festivities began once roll-in was done, when an announcement was made underneath the grand archway of the brand's U.S. headquarters in Cypress, Calif., that the Lancer Evolution will in fact return to production for 2018, in a 100-unit limited run of 1,000hp cars set to compete head-to-head with the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon!
If that wasn't enough, there was a special appearance by Fernando Alonso, who announced his intentions to bring the Sierra Sierra EVO out of retirement and campaign it in this year's Super Lap Battle, saying something to the effect of growing tired of Indy and F1, and Hondas being too slow...
But then there was the big bombshell. Mitsubishi cordially invited everyone in attendance to the 2018 MOD, to be held at Tsukuba circuit, with track time and travel arrangements for owners—and cars—to be made compliments of the brand.
None of that actually happened, of course. So far there's no known return of the EVO planned, although Mitsubishi is set to announce an a new vehicle at an enthusiast event later this year (more on that in a minute). Professional racing divas—er, drivers—are still afraid of time-attack, and while MOD will certainly be back next year, the safe money says it will once again be held on the Mitsubishi Motors North America campus—which doesn't have a grand archway, just lots of very chic looking tinted glass. But Hondas are still slow.
What wasn't fake news? For starters, this was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mitsubishi (with cake and balloons for all!), which began with the launch of the Mitsubishi Model A a full century ago. This year's event also saw a turnout of around 1,300 cars fill the property, with the vast majority of them highly modified and flexing big performance capabilities, and several times that number of Mitsu-driving showgoers overtaking nearby business' lots throughout the day. If pressed for an estimate, we'd say better than 4,000 people took part in the festivities, which is on par (or even better than) previous years' turnout—an impressive indicator of owner loyalty, considering most are drivers and fans of models now discontinued.
Taking the unofficial award for "most dedicated fan" may have been Frank Eck, who traveled all the way from Middleburg, Fla., to make the show. Also worthy of note were "People's Choice" award winner Arvin Padiernos and his 2011 EVO X, and "Judges' Choice" award winner Dennis Aquino and his 1977 Lancer Colt—as well as the owners and builders of the rows upon rows of EVOs, RalliArts, Eclipses, Mirages, and more that kept us walking and ogling all day long.
Missed the action? Didn't, but just want more? We understand. And so does Mitsubishi, which is why they're throwing it all over again, this time at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pa., on August 19th. That's also where and when they'll be announcing the newest member of the Mitsubishi lineup (honest!), so plan your trip or stay with us for more as the details break.
But first, drop what you're doing and check our gallery below for more from MOD 2017!