Mitsubishi has made an astonishing announcement – its ridiculously awesome Evolution sedan powerhouse will be killed off in favour of a new focus on Electric Vehicles. Mitsubishi pivoting the whole company positioning themselves as an ‘environmentally sensitive’ vehicle manufacturer.
The rally-bred Evo was ridiculously successful off-road, going head-to-head with Subaru WRX. Since first being introduced in 1992, its long history involved many innovations from Mitsubishi, suspension and handling were second to none.
Mitsubishi started experimenting with electric vehicles back in 2005 with the MIEV concepts. One of these concepts was a fully electric Evo which included an electric motor connected to each wheel. Mitsubishi created in-wheel motors, unlike other electric vehicles which use a single electric motor to power all 4 wheels. The result of this was a lighter motor which translated into not only lower weight, but weight positioned lower, creating a better centre of balance. Each in-wheel motor produced a power output of 50 kW, providing a combined output of 200 kW and 517 Nm of torque, comparable to that of regular, petrol powered Lancer Evolutions.
Image credit: PC-CM.com
Why on earth that EV Evo never made it to production is unknown, but incredibly disappointing. An easier transition path for Evo-lovers would have been for Mitsubishi to phase out the petrol-powered vehicles as sales of EV versions rise. Instead Mitsubishi has decided to pull the handbrake on the Evo after 10 versions.
Mitsubishi’s global product director, Gayu Eusegi told Autocar that “Maybe the world can change, and maybe someday we can do a motor race by electric vehicles. Maybe then we can enter the (performance) market again.”
Currently the only EV Mitsubishi have on the market is the iMiev, a low-budget, low-performance small car, certainly not a replacement for the Evo.
Image source: Wikipedia
If your not quite sure what the world is loosing, check out this video of the 2010 Mitsubishi Evolution X.
Personally I own a Mitsubishi Lancer, a lot of the spirit of which is derived from the Evo, so what does this mean for the lancer ? This truly is a sad day for fans of the Mitsubishi Evo. Hopefully Mitsubishi can get their EV technology sorted quickly and re-introduce a market-leading performance vehicle built on batteries.