Mitsubishi Evo Hybrid Sport SUV Details
The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution marks the last model year of the high-performance sedan, but that doesn't mean it's the end for the iconic nameplate. Autocar reports that the Japanese automaker wants to carry on the legacy of the Evo through a sporty hybrid SUV.
At the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Mitsubishi product boss Kanenori Okamoto revealed that although the Evo will be gone, it will still live on in spirit through an SUV with high performance. Mitsubishi is still deciding which crossover to use as the basis for the high-performance model, but word is that it will feature tech inspired by the automaker's MiEV Evolution Pikes Peak EV racer. It will also utilize the next-gen Super All-wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system, which when integrated with front and rear electric motors, achieves handling capabilities that will surpass any previous Evo, even the Evo X. All the tech expected to debut on the SUV won't be exclusive for too long, as several components and control systems will trickle down to other future Mitsubishis.
Crossovers have become quite the hot commodity over the last couple years, which helps explain why Mitsubishi wants to cash in on the segment. Hybrid technology has also become a focus for the automaker, with the tech first featured on the Outlander PHEV. Okamoto suggested the knowledge gained from the packaging of the MiEV Evolution could prove useful in designing the Evo-like hybrid crossover, as the model would require a large battery and high-output electric motor high-performance purposes.
We've known for some time that the automaker had plans to take an Evo successor in a completely different direction, and that that direction includes electrification. We previously reported that the successor would ditch the Lancer Evolution name entirely and ride on an in-house-developed chassis, not a Renault platform like the standard Lancer's successor. We've also heard that it could employ a plug-in hybrid powertrain possibly consisting of a turbocharged 1.1-liter inline-three and two electric motors -- one for each axle to retain all-wheel drive capability. The Evo successor's motors would be significantly downsized from the Outlander PHEV's, and the battery pack will be slotted under the rear seats, producing a perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. While the sedan has enjoyed lots of success as a rally car, there are currently no plans for the crossover compete in motorsport.
Should a hybrid crossover serve as the Evo's successor? Or does the turbo all-wheel-drive rally special deserve a true follow-up?