The race is on – but was it ever really off? Automakers on a global scale are in competition to make the next best vehicle to dominate the auto market. With alternative fuel vehicles on the rise, many of the concepts we’re starting to see are plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. 2019 Geneva Motor show had more than its fair share of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer, and in that regard, Mitsubishi went a step further with the eco-friendly Dendo Drive House. Another automaker at the Geneva International Motor Show, that always seems to be on the same wavelength as Mitsubishi is Kia Motors, with their Imagine by Kia preview of what’s to come. It would seem that Mitsubishi Motors is doing the same.
Take a look at the collection of new vehicles and concepts that have come from Mitsubishi Motors in previous years. Going all the way back to the Eclipse Cross, there was a change. The last in-house vehicle before becoming a part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the Eclipse Cross was the stepping stone for the future of Mitsubishi Motors. On the one hand, they’re now one-third of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, currently hitting the electric vehicle market with gusto. The Alliance has many plans for alternative fuel and autonomous technology, much of which is discussed in its Alliance 2022 Six-Year Plan.
The Engelberg Tourer may be the first concept that will come from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and with it, self-driving cars are also on the way. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Mitsubishi Motors sister company, Mitsubishi Electric had a lot to present. As if to design the future of vehicles, Mitsubishi Electric debuted autonomous technology at the 2019 CES and new forms of artificial intelligence that may one day replace the need for a driver altogether.
On the other hand, Mitsubishi Motors is designing vehicles that bring back what the automaker is known for – racing cars. This year, Mitsubishi Motors, the fastest-growing Asian brand in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 1999 FIA World Rally Drivers’ Championship. Back in 1999, production-based Group A cars were at their peak of performance, and despite the fierce competition, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI won out, with driver Tommi Makinen claiming four overall wins on his way to the world championship. This is how many still remember Mitsubishi, and that’s why many called the Eclipse Cross heresy. Taking a sports car and turning it into a crossover didn’t sit well.
Could it work though? That brings us to the next big concept by Mitsubishi Motors, having been in the background for some time. The Future is all about the e-Evolution for Mitsubishi. What was first just a concept vehicle equipped with autonomous technology and artificial intelligence is starting to become more and more likely the contender for the next Mitsubishi Lancer. Following the pattern of the Eclipse Cross, Mitsubishi is resurrecting the Lancer as a crossover. At the same time, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution is the next concept to wear the EVO nameplate, and that may mean the Lancer Crossover might just be a racing car after all. Mitsubishi has once called the e-Evolution a “high-performance SUV”.
It may feel like a future far away, but many automakers are set to break the mold in 2020 and going forward. Stick around and follow Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media to find out what happens next.