First the rumors were that the Mitsubishi Evo was dead, then that it wasn’t, then that it really was, then it wasn’t, then… you get the point. The back and forth speculation about the rally-inspired four-door performance vehicle has been almost maddening, like watching Saab resurrect from the grave a few times, only to collapse back into the hole again and again.
This time, though, things are official. The Lancer Evolution is walking dead as Mitsubishi finally reveals the car sings its swan song with the 2015 model. Does this mean that Subaru has won the rally-inspired war in America?
It’s hard to say just what will happen next. Mitsubishi has teased some possible replacements for the Evo, including one that only exists in a video game (as far as everyone knows). The only thing that the company is saying for sure is that the Evolution has reached the end of the line.
Even though it’s hard to say goodbye to such a cool, influential car, it’s better this way. Really. Just look at the Eclipse, the car that used to be the hot little turbocharged, all-wheel drive pocket rocket and now is just a bloated mess. To have seen the Evo turn into such a thing would have been truly tragic.
If Mitsubishi does release a replacement for the Evolution, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t, the automaker has already stated over and over it would be fundamentally different. The most obvious way it would differ is the powertrain. A hybrid is pretty likely, but there is also the outside chance the Japanese company will surprise everyone with a pure-electric miracle. It has been playing with both platforms in motorsports for years. Whatever happens, perhaps it will help catapult the company back to its former glory when it produced some pretty exciting cars. Something needs to happen, because let’s face it: the Outlander doesn’t really get the heart pumping very much.