Mitsubishi Official Says Evo Franchise Will Be Killed
By Carl Malek
In an interview with Autocar magazine, Gayu Eusegi, Mitsubishi’s Head of Global Development, issued a statement which suggested that the company’s Evo franchise will meet its end after the company concludes production with the Lancer Evolution X. According to Eusegi, this surprising decision is part of the company’s shift from a maker of rally-inspired cars to a leading maker of environmentally-friendly vehicles. On that note, AutoCar has indicated that the company has plans to produce eight new models with Pure EV and Hybrid electric capability by 2015 with the intent of taking a big share of the growing green car market. With that statement in mind, its easy to see how the fun but fuel-thirsty Evo model in its current form could be an enormous contradiction to the company’s new policy of being a leader in EV and hybrid technology.
When later asked about the possibility of a hybrid powered Evolution model, Eusegi appeared to put that notion to rest as well by saying, “Maybe the world can change and maybe someday we can do a motor race by electric vehicles. Maybe then we can enter the market again.”
This news of the Evo’s impending demise (which has yet to be officially confirmed) would stand to contradict numerous reports of the company working on a Evo XI model which would feature a hybrid system and would be a great way for the company to help make the Evo fit in with the company’s new direction, while at the same time serving as a bridge to the company’s greener future. Until then enthusiasts should keep an eye on further developments, and if the end of the franchise is indeed at hand, they should prepare to mark the end of a wild and historic era that helped Mitsubishi become the company that it is today.