The Mistubishi Lancer Evo has always been held in high regard by rallying aficionados, especially after winning the WRC 1996-1999 mostly under Tommi Mäkinen. The Evo is a sports sedan that is made to be that great on the freeway but also significantly that much better on rough terrain. 2015 is set to be the year of the final Evo model. For the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI, this will not be business as usual, as it becomes a highlight of the new direction Mitsubishi is taking. The new direction is for more fuel economy and less CO2 emissions. However, subtly, the main reason to do anything for a corporation is always to make profit.
The New Direction
Talking of a new direction the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI is to match its predecessor in performance. However, they are attaining this by getting rid of the turbocharger and introducing an electric motor in its stead. Thus, they are going the hybrid direction. Mitsubishi have announced that the car is going to be emulated in spirit by a high performance SUV upon its demise. We’ll see if the SUV will be nothing more than a constellation price or the full package.
The car will use a diesel engine that will power the rear wheels and an electric motor that will power the front wheels. This will all in all make it a four wheel drive. The engines combined will be able to match its predecessor’s 291 hp. Also, Mitsubishi are bullish about the car going 0 – 60 mph in under 5 seconds.
The car handles well, the steering is perfectly sensitive. Every twitch to the steering wheel alters your direction.
The Interior and Exterior
The interior is cheap, and I am not just being blunt. From the materials used to the seats, the car could use a facelift. The minimalist approach of track cars on the interior is too be lauded, however when you start using plastic finishes here and there for a whole $ 40,000 that’s just being a cheapskate. When you step out, it doesn’t look that bad, actually the highlight for me has to be its grille.
Our reptilian brain is tuned to survival. That means we are more worried about what we are losing out on. Thus, for car fans regardless if they can afford the car or not, if you put final on any car that’s in production you’ll always hear an outpouring of lamentations. However, the lamentations for the Evo are justified, as this is a wonderful car to have to lose. As for the Lancer Evo XI, I feel saddened that Mitsubishi didn’t give as a truly superior car for its last incarnation, it seems like PR where we are trying to look humane while killing a brand. Lastly, when compared to its rivals the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI is lagging behind but manages to be in the top ten in its class. Car & Driver rank them eighth behind cars like the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus and Subaru WRX.
Do you think Mitsubishi are justified to take the Evo out of production or should they reconsider their options? Have your say, leave a comment.
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