The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, or more commonly called simply ‘Evo’ by fans, is one of the most celebrated rally-bred sports car in the world. So when Mitsubishi announced that the Ralliart brand will be making a return, fans rejoiced as they thought that the legendary Evo is coming back.
Alas, the excitement was short-lived, as Mitsubishi Motors President and CEO, Takao Kato confirmed soon after that they won’t be releasing a new Lancer Evolution after all. The Ralliart brand will only be used for their motorsports activities, particularly in rallies, alongside additional accessories for their model range.
But the question is, why not? Especially since it was specifically requested by several shareholders. And surely, with the amount of fans crying for the Evo to return, there’ll be a sizeable market for it, right?
The answer for this ultimately, boils down to Mitsubishi’s electrification plans. “Electrification costs a lot and the company is still not strong enough,” Kato explained. “We had a big deficit in the previous fiscal year, and our priority is to revive the company first and then roll out the cars that fans are waiting for.”
Mitsubishi aims to offer a fully electrified range by 2030, and that will require just about every last penny of their available funds. And In order to “revive the company” as Kato said, the Japanese carmaker will need first focus on high-volume products first.
In this day and age, that means SUVs like the Outlander, Eclipse Cross, or the China-only Airtrek. It’s always important to remember that those asking for new sports cars are usually the vocal minority. And even if there’s a real “demand”, ask yourselves this – how many times did you actually follow through when you said “I’ll surely buy one if they make one with a manual gearbox”?
With sedan sales dwindling down globally, it’ll perhaps be quite a while more before we see a new Lancer, let alone a Lancer Evolution. But all hope’s not lost, though, as Kato said in the statement himself that they’ll make “cars that fans are waiting for” too, just perhaps a little later than “soon”.