Skip to main content

Will the mighty Mitsubishi Evo be powered by a 1.1-liter hybrid in its 11th generation?

next mitsubishi lancer evolution could be a plug in hybrid
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has gone so long without a significant update, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s dead.

However, Mitsubishi reportedly has bigs plans for its sportiest model.

The turbocharged rally-car-for-the-road known as the “Evo” may ditch the Lancer platform altogether, and gain a hybrid powertrain, according to Motor Trend.

The next Lancer compact sedan will switch to a Renault platform, but a Mitsubishi insider told the magazine that said platform won’t be adequate for the performance targets the company has set for the next Evo.

That car, the 11th Evo, will also reportedly be a technological showcase, somewhat similar in mission to the Nissan GT-R. Specifically, it will be showcasing Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid powertrain technology.

Mitsubishi has tried to carve out a niche as a proliferator of plug-ins. The company launched the Outlander PHEV earlier this year, and showed two plug-in hybrid crossover concepts at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

The next Evo may be powered by a version of the 1.1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine from one of those concepts, the XR-PHEV. Electric motors latched to each axle will give it all-wheel drive, and a downsized battery pack will sit under the rear seats.

Those electric motors could reportedly cooperate withe Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control vehicle dynamics system to dramatically improve the car’s handling.

A high-performance plug-in hybrid sounds pretty remarkable, but it would take the Evo very far from its original concept. When it was launched in 1993, the Evo was a “homologation special”, a way for Mitsubishi to get into the World Rally Championship (WRC). The series requires manufacturers to sell a certain number of the cars they plan to race.

Mitsubishi hasn’t competed in the WRC for years, but the connection is still pretty strong. The company would have to change the car’s name, because it wouldn’t really be an “Evolution” of an existing model anymore.

There’s something to be said for practical performance cars based on ordinary models, but Mitsubishi wouldn’t be the first Japanese carmaker to switch things up in the name of ultimate performance.

The Nissan GT-R started out as a high-performance version of the Japanese-market Skyline, until Nissan moved to a dedicated platform with the current R35 generation.

For awhile, it looked like Subaru would build a new WRX on a bespoke platform as well, but the recently-revealed 2015 model is still based on the Impreza compact.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
Design
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
Design
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more