Born in 1992, the Lancer Evolution is one of the world’s most iconic nameplates in rallying. Currently in its tenth iteration, the ‘Evo’ cars have been one of the best all rounder saloon cars, offering the best of both worlds since the past 22 years. But it now seems that Mitsubishi has decided to cease the production of the iconic ‘family’ car, without introducing a replacement.
According to Japan's NikkanJidosha Shimbun, Mitsubishi will stop the production of the Evo X by the end of this year. The car has served as the image leader for the brand since its inception, but the sales figures of the performance sedan have steadily been decreasing for the past few years. With the decreasing popularity, Mitsubishi has been moving away from the ‘performance car manufacturer’ image and depicting itself as more of an eco-friendly car company. The company now intends to concentrate more on producing efficient, hybrid and electric cars.
The Mitsubishi Evo has always been powered by four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbochaged engines, producing insane amounts of power. The Evo X is powered by the newly designed 4B11T engine, of the same specification. The engine produces 400bhp in the FQ400 version, driving all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The car can hit 100kmph from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds going on to a electronically limited top-speed of 248kmph.
Mitsubishi last week announced a limited edition of 40 units, specifically for the UK market. Called Evo X FQ-440 MR, the car costs GBP 50,000 (Rs49.82 lakh) and produces 440bhp and 559Nm of torque. High taxation coupled with high maintenance,results in a very specific audience for performance cars like the Subaru Impreza and the Evo. Even manufacturers have been shifting towards making more eco-friendly cars and low-cost vehicles, which can make up good volumes and increase profits. Last year, speculations doing rounds suggested that Mitsubishi was planning to go for a hybrid powertrain for the Evo XI. But now, with this announcement, the chances of that happening anytime soon seem very bleak.