When Mitsubishi Motors said they were reinventing the EVO nameplate for an all-electric SUV, many fans of the old Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution weren’t very happy. After all, the Lancer EVO was a rally car, and the last Mitsubishi Lancer EVO was sold on eBay, September 2017. A little later, Mitsubishi Motors debuted the Mitsubishi e-Evolution at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017. They called it a “high-performance” SUV, and had plans to also make it semi-autonomous with all new futuristic designs inside and out. Then, in early 2018, Mitsubishi announced the revival of the Mitsubishi Lancer as a crossover. Signs are pointing to this new Lancer becoming the e-Evolution concept to resurrect the nameplate. Again, fans aren’t happy, but let’s take a look at what the Lancer EVO was once capable of, and how its abilities can translate into a crossover today.
Here’s a video of Jeremy Clarkson from BBC’s TopGear showing off the Lancer EVO eighth-generation, and ultimately racing a Lamborghini Murciélago. The results were surprising.
The Lancer EVO-8 was a turbocharged, four-wheel drive rally car that could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Although powered by a small, 2.0-liter engine, the engineers at Mitsubishi Motors could crank out over 400 horsepower from the small engine, and clocked in a top speed of 175 mph. If that sounds impressive, it’s nothing compared to the handling and driver control of the Lancer EVO-8.
Just look at that video. Clarkson is able to maneuver the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO-8 with a single finger. Even with the tight turns he’s taking on the track, the Mitsubishi EVO is able to re-align itself and keep its grip on the asphalt. That’s thanks to Mitsubishi Motors electronic all-wheel drive and traction control system. Today, their all-wheel drive system is known as “All-Wheel Control” and “Super All-Wheel Control” for the advanced version. One can bet such a system will come standard on the upcoming Lancer crossover, like Mitsubishi did for the Eclipse Cross lineup (optional on base ES 1.5T trim).
It’s easy to forget Mitsubishi was once a large rally car automaker. Mitsubishi Motors has been in the automarket for 100 years, and their Galant Vr-4 made a name for itself when it won the WRC1000 and RAC Rallies in 1989. Today, people still love the Lancer EVO and are constantly modifying the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to race at the track. Speaking of which, if curious about how the race against the Lamborghini Murciélago went, here’s the setup.
Jeremy Clarkson is driving in the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO-8. British Touring Car Champion James Kay is driving the Lamborghini. Not only does the EVO-8 keep up with the supercar, but Kay is forced to spin-out trying to shake the EVO-8 off its tail. Now that’s one for the scrapbook.
If the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO-8 was able to match a Lamborghini Murciélago in speed, and can offer all the flavor of a rally car, then who’s to say this “high-performance crossover” can’t do the same? It’s a new day in the auto market, and automakers surprise us every now and then. Plus, with the Renault-Nissan Alliance giving Mitsubishi Motors some support, there’s an even greater chance that Mitsubishi Motors can make new use of its old roots.
What do you think? Let us know on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Auto Evolution
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