Fans of sports cars that double as commuters and family cars will have one less option soon. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will be discontinued when the current generation of the Lancer is replaced. Mitsubishi has no room for the brash rally-car-for-the-road Evolution in its new corporate strategy that will focus on electric cars and profitable SUVs.
The all-wheel drive, turbocharged Evolution has been sold in the United States since 2003 when it took over the reigns as Mitsubishi’s high tech sports car from the Eclipse GSX and the 3000GT. Primary competition comes from the Subaru WRX STI, but at $35,000 sports car shoppers will also be checking out the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Nissan 370Z while the base models of the BMW 1-Series, Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 will definitely woo some buyers less concerned with outright horsepower.
“Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan,” spokeswoman Namie Koketsu told Automotive News. “Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology.”
Mitsubishi’s future plan isn’t limited to axing the Evo. The company plans to move away from building all of its own cars and will start with a Renault-based midsize car. Mitsubishi also plans to make 20% of its lineup either plug-in hybrid models or electric cars. Mitsubishi is getting ready to launch the i-MiEV, its first electric car, this spring.