Mitsubishi will end production of one of its most iconic models, the Lancer Evolution, by the end of this year, says a report from Japan. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, which recently received a special edition model in the UK, will be the last Evo model as we know it.
According to a report from Japan’s Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun, cited by Leftlanenews, the last Lancer Evo high-performance sedan will be produced before the end of the year, with the future of the series being uncertain at this time. Almost a quarter of a million Lancer Evos were sold since the model’s launched in 1992 – 92,000 units in Japan and 154,000 in overseas markets.
The Lancer Evolution has become a halo model for the Mitsubishi brand, helping build the image of the company thanks to victories in the World Rally Championship – one manufacturers’ title in 1998 and four consecutive drivers’ championships from 1996 to 1999 with Finnish rally legend Tommi Mäkinen.
So why is Mitsubishi dropping the Evo, especially at a time when its range doesn’t have any truly desirable models? Well, hopefully, it will not drop it altogether, but the successor to the Lancer Evo X will be a very different machine. For environmental reasons related to emission standards, the future Lancer Evo (it remains to be seen if it will continue to use this name) will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
As you may already know, Mitsubishi has decided to re-brand itself as a manufacturer of eco-friendly vehicles, concentrating its resources toward developing electric and hybrid cars.
By Dan Mihalascu