Posts Tagged ‘lancer crossover’
When Mitsubishi put an end to the Lancer, everyone thought it was going to be the end of their sports cars. Then, with the announcement of the return of the Eclipse, many fans rejoiced, but now when they found out the Eclipse was returning as a crossover. That’s definitely not what people think of when they think of the rally cars Mitsubishi is known for. Then came the e-Evolution concept, a concept said to bring back the Evolution nameplate the Lancer was known for, maybe even the new Lancer. The e-Evolution remains a concept, but it turns out while also showing off the look of the e-Evolution, the automaker was also testing the new look for the Eclipse Cross refresh.
“The new design draws inspiration from the MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT*1 emphasizing the strength and dynamics from our SUV heritage, while enhancing the cleanliness and elegance of a coupe-like SUV…The Eclipse Cross is the first step toward the next generation of Mitsubishi Design, and there is so much more to come.” – Seiji Watanabe, division general manager of Design, MMC
After the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced the mid-term plans for the next few years in late May 2020, things are looking up for the Alliance. Initially worried with Alliance Ventures thought to be in jeopardy not too long ago. The new strategy for the Alliance is a “Follow-the-Leader” scheme where one automaker releases a new vehicle in one segment into one region of focus for sales. If it’s successful, another vehicle from the same segment will be released by one of the other automakers in their region of focus. There is some worry about how this will affect Mitsubishi Motors and models that make it overseas, with Mitsubishi sales faltering in the U.S. and Japan market, but there is still hope. Mitsubishi Motors is also the first automaker to release a vehicle from the Alliance, and it’s a C/D segment vehicle – smaller than an SUV.
Hooray! Finally, something other than an SUV from the Japanese automaker. It’s been years since we saw anything that wasn’t a sports utility vehicle or a plug-in hybrid SUV – the Eclipse Cross doesn’t count, crossover or not. We’re waiting for a true-blooded racing car, and the Eclipse being turned into a crossover just won’t cut it. Mitsubishi Motors has mentioned that the Lancer is going to be revived as a crossover as well but is supposed to be engineered to be a “high-performance” SUV. We’re not sure what that means – maybe this SUV is supposed to be able to tackle the racetrack?
With Mitsubishi Motors continuing to move towards crossovers and SUVs, especially plug-in hybrid SUVs, some may wonder if plans to bring back favorites like the Lancer have truly bitten the dust. Once known for their rally cars, Mitsubishi made a name for itself with the Galant Vr-4 when it won the WRC1000 and RAC Rallies in 1989, a sports car that was soon followed by the Lancer EVO. A fan-favorite for modifying, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X was popular on the track for amateur racers. The EVO-8 has even been known to match up with the likes of the Lamborghini Murciélago. Still, if Mitsubishi has duped the Lancer Crossover plans, how can we get revive the Lancer today?
Oh, we didn’t mention the new Lancer is a crossover. Yeah, that’s a thing. Mitsubishi is turning the Lancer into a crossover, and the image above is what the automaker says it’s going for. Doing what looks like drifting, this SUV will be what Mitsubishi Motors is calling a “performance-oriented” SUV. Why would Mitsubishi turn the racecar Lancer into something like this? Would you believe us if we told you this is supposed to be the rebirth of the Lancer Evolution?
Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric came to the Tokyo Motor Show and had two brand new concepts to show off. These were the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, destined to bring back the “EVO” nameplate previously thought to be discontinued, but new plans for a Lancer Crossover by Mitsubishi may have taken over – actually, it may be the same concept based on the digital renders. The second concept was Emirai4, a self-driving vehicle currently in the testing phase. Two years later, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) is packing heat. Their hand in the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Alliance Ventures has paid off. With their recent partnership with MaaS Global Oy, a whole new vision is about to take off.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy
MaaS Global Oy is the company behind an overseas mobile app called Whim. It’s basically a ride-hailing app that rolls all the various apps, cards, and payment methods for buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more into just one app. It basically offers everyone (in Helsingin seudun liikenne, Finland) the ability to subscribe to a plan that gives them access to all of these transportation services – public, personal, and even rentals. Since it launched in 2017, the service has expanded to Birmingham, U.K. and Antwerp, Belgium, and with a recent investment by Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Toyotsa Financing Solutions, MaaS Global plans to expand to Vienna, Singapore; several cities in Japan; and eventually over to the states in Miami and Chicago, and again in North America in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
Mitsubishi Motors is well on its way to making more alternative fuel vehicles, like the Engelberg Tourer concept shown at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, along with interesting technology. Mitsubishi Electric, another part of Mitsubishi Corp, demonstrated a lot of neat self-driving technology at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, and Mitsubishi recently made a deal with The Mobility House to help bring their Dendo Drive House to life. Even with all of this cool stuff though, a lot of racing car enthusiasts are wondering if Mitsubishi Motors will ever go back to their roots of rally cars. Here’s a blast from the past.
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4
Oh if there was a greatest sports car of all time, it would be the 3000GT (pictured above), also known as the Japanese GTO in its home country. This was powered by a twin-turbo 300 horsepower engine, came with an all-wheel drivetrain, and sweet active aerodynamics that helped it rev up from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Back then, it was faster than the Honda NSX and half the price. Not only this, but at one point, the 3000GT was rebadged and sold as the Dodge Stealth! Who knew?
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.
Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance to form what is now the Renault-Nissan Alliance, where each automaker in competition with the other, but is not independent of the other. More of a joint venture than a merger, each automaker is working to create technologies and platforms that could be shared between all three companies. At the same time, each automaker is set out to make a better vehicle than the other. The current focus? Crossovers, SUVs, alternative fuel technology, and autonomous technology.
Known as “Alliance 2022”, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started a six-year plan. With the plan heavily relying on cross-brand platform sharing and the sharing of powertrains, electrification, connectivity, and autonomous drive technologies. By 2022, the alliance has sale projections that land somewhere over 14 million units sold in a year. It’s a pretty big number, but so far, it doesn’t seem impossible. Over the course of 2018, and after the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors alone clearly has some big plans.
Wow, it’s crazy when you find yourself riding the same wavelength as someone else, be it in the world or in your household. Just last week, we were discussing the possibilities of the new Mitsubishi Lancer Crossover if it were to regain the Evolution or “EVO” nameplate. We even showed a video of Clark Johnson from TopGear racing the Lancer EVO against a Lamborghini! The Lancer was such a beast, it caused the driver to spin out while attempting to shake it off. We also found out not too long ago that Mitsubishi Motors and digital artists are churning out concepts for future vehicles, like the new Mitsubishi Mirage built off the Nissan Juke and now the new Lancer Crossover concept art.
This beautiful piece comes from from Automotive Designer and Digital Artist, Tigran Lalayan. Notice anything similar? Right off the bat, it’s clear that Lalayan took some styling cues from the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept shown off at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The color is different for a more aggressive tone, and with high performance in mind, the color definitely speaks volumes. Drawn up with the same rugged stance but given its own funky flavor, the Lancer crossover concept from Lalayan isn’t half bad.
Mitsubishi Motors is doing it again. We’re not surprised, and unlike some of the pessimists of the internet, we’re not disheartened either. We all know Mitsubishi Motors has turned their attention towards crossovers for their future lineup. This was first evident when they teased the debut of their new crossover, a throwback to the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross debuted at Geneva during the auto show, and there was plenty to like. Not only did this crossover have some of the aesthetic appeal of a sports car, but the technology in the Eclipse Cross was a new frontier for Mitsubishi. The next Mitsubishi vehicle to be transformed is the Mitsubishi Lancer, now a crossover.
Oh, we can hear the cries already. “No, not the record breaking Mitsubishi Lancer!” Oh, boo-hoo. The Mitsubishi Lancer was discontinued, get over it. If you liked it so much, you had your chance to get a Mitsubishi Lancer Limited Edition in 2017. Mitsubishi is making way for new vehicles and giving old vehicles a new purpose, like the Mitsubihsi e-Evolution wearing the “Evo” nameplate. And that vehicle concept looks pretty amazing so far. Take a look at the picture above and below. That’s the style the new Mitsubishi Lancer crossover may take a few cues from.