Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Could Go Hybrid

 

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Think about all the cool cars in Mitsubishi’s lineup.

Chances are, you could only think of one; the Lancer Evolution.

Turbocharged, 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive; the perfect prescription for New England snowfall and the doldrums of conventional family sedans. It has worked for Mitsubishi for years now, and a cult of fanboys (and girls) has cropped up around this car. So why would Mitsubishi consider making it a hybrid?





Maybe because the EVO isn’t nearly as exciting when it isn’t starring in Fast and Furious movies. Or maybe Mitsu is on to something here. The Honda CR-Z was a disappointment to many of us wanting a hybrid that takes advantage of the electric motor to produce more power, as well as better fuel efficiency. I suggest you read Sam Smith’s article over at Jalopnik for the reason why the CR-Z sucks. With that pretty much scratched off my list of Hybrids-I-Maybe-Could-Be-One-Day-Seen-Driving (At Night), Mitsubishi’s EVO XI, due out in 2012 or 2013, could fill my prescription for fun fuel efficiency.

The idea for the EVO XI is to hook up an upgraded version of Mitsubishi’s 63 horsepower permanent magnetic synchronous electric engine (the same motor found in the i-MiEV) and hook it up to the new EVO’s front wheels. Then a 2.0 liter, 300+ horsepower MIVEC petrol engine would solely power the rear wheels. Real-wheel drive = very yes in my book. The new EVO could give drivers the option to switch back and forth between petrol power and electric driving, driving up fuel economy and lowering emissions. The current EVO X gets about 20 mpg out of its 291 horsepower four cylinder engine, which is worse than even the outgoing Mustang’s 4.6 liter V8 engine.

A Motor Trend sketch of what the EVO XI could look like.

Mitsubishi engineers are said to be targeting a 4.5 second sprint to 60 mph from a standstill, and the combined output of petrol and electric motors could take power upwards of 350 ponies. Sounds very good to me, but only if they can get highway mileage to over 25 mpg. The EVO XI will also feature a bevy of improvements to the handling and suspension including Active Steering and Roll Control Suspension.

Of course, the success of messing with such a tried and true vehicle will boil down to cost-versus-performance. Few things perform like a Ferrari, but few people can afford them. Will a hybrid EVO cost even more than the current EVO X’s top asking price of over $40,000? If so, it better be a helluva better car.

Source: Motor Trend | Images: Motor Trend | Mitsubishi





About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • When a performance maching like the EVO goes hybrid, you know the tide has turned towards electric vehicles. It needs to come up with some good mileage though.

  • When a performance maching like the EVO goes hybrid, you know the tide has turned towards electric vehicles. It needs to come up with some good mileage though.

  • sheckyvegas

    We need to get away from this “zero to sixty in 3 seconds” mentality and get more realistic on hybrids and electric. Who needs a car to speed up that fast? I’ll tell you who – teenagers and yahoos who drink their beers with their elbow out. Just make the cars reliable, safe, and with excellent mileage. The jugheads who need the speed “compensation” can see what the real world is like when they crash into a wall at a hundred miles per hour. And it won’t be like the movies…

  • sheckyvegas

    We need to get away from this “zero to sixty in 3 seconds” mentality and get more realistic on hybrids and electric. Who needs a car to speed up that fast? I’ll tell you who – teenagers and yahoos who drink their beers with their elbow out. Just make the cars reliable, safe, and with excellent mileage. The jugheads who need the speed “compensation” can see what the real world is like when they crash into a wall at a hundred miles per hour. And it won’t be like the movies…

  • Shecky:

    You make a good point, but I will gladly group myself with those beer-swilling yahoos and jugheads.

    Not everyone wants or needs to go fast, absolutely. And yet, many people, myself included, derive some sick, perverse joy out of going fast.

    Ultimately, car companies are trying to make money. A lot of people want to be able to go fast in addition to getting decent fuel economy. We could all drive around in 90 horsepower Honda Fits, but that sounds pretty boring to me.

  • Shecky:

    You make a good point, but I will gladly group myself with those beer-swilling yahoos and jugheads.

    Not everyone wants or needs to go fast, absolutely. And yet, many people, myself included, derive some sick, perverse joy out of going fast.

    Ultimately, car companies are trying to make money. A lot of people want to be able to go fast in addition to getting decent fuel economy. We could all drive around in 90 horsepower Honda Fits, but that sounds pretty boring to me.

  • sheckyvegas

    Chris – I understand the jughead stance. I, unfortunately, come from a long line of white trash. I’m talking “drag a five dollar bill through the trailer park to meet your next wife” type of white trash.

    The problem I have is virtually every article I read about the Next Evolution in green cars starts off with the “zero to sixty” nonsense. Granted, the rich, pretty boys got to the cars first, since very few people can claim they own a green car when it costs $100,000 to buy one.

    But why are we constantly trumping the speed when we could be trumpeting the distance travelled WITHOUT A DROP OF GAS? We all read the bylines, we know cheap oil is going away fast, and we all know that General Motors is full of shit. (Sorry, that last one is a personal grudge. The lying fucks…)

    As thinking creatures we should be beyond the Stare And Grunt constructs of vehicle ownership. We should be beyond the dick-grabbing machismo of driving a car. Why, in this country, do we always feel the need for speed? (Oh, and fuck you, Tom Cruise, too…)

    Sadly, I think we’re barely beyond the caves we climbed out of…

  • sheckyvegas

    Chris – I understand the jughead stance. I, unfortunately, come from a long line of white trash. I’m talking “drag a five dollar bill through the trailer park to meet your next wife” type of white trash.

    The problem I have is virtually every article I read about the Next Evolution in green cars starts off with the “zero to sixty” nonsense. Granted, the rich, pretty boys got to the cars first, since very few people can claim they own a green car when it costs $100,000 to buy one.

    But why are we constantly trumping the speed when we could be trumpeting the distance travelled WITHOUT A DROP OF GAS? We all read the bylines, we know cheap oil is going away fast, and we all know that General Motors is full of shit. (Sorry, that last one is a personal grudge. The lying fucks…)

    As thinking creatures we should be beyond the Stare And Grunt constructs of vehicle ownership. We should be beyond the dick-grabbing machismo of driving a car. Why, in this country, do we always feel the need for speed? (Oh, and fuck you, Tom Cruise, too…)

    Sadly, I think we’re barely beyond the caves we climbed out of…

  • MichaelBryant

    sound like trend. It is good idea Have electric drive in the front and machincal drive in the back. I think the reason they get poor mpg is because they are four wheel drive. four wheel drive system is less efficient than two wheel drive system due to extra gears and bearings.

  • MichaelBryant

    sound like trend. It is good idea Have electric drive in the front and machincal drive in the back. I think the reason they get poor mpg is because they are four wheel drive. four wheel drive system is less efficient than two wheel drive system due to extra gears and bearings.

  • Considering the Global warming all vehicles has to be hybrid. As coin has two side, Hybrid technology also has some advantage & some disadvantage.

    Advantages :

    * Hybrids help the environment by using less fuel

    * Since an electric car runs off a battery charged from electricity rather than fuel from an internal combustion engine, it produces less pollution than a usual car as electric plants can more efficiently produce energy than internal combustion engines.

    Disadvantages :

    * Much slower acceleration times than a normally aspirated car.

    * Maintenance on the electrical system must be done by a professional. Hybid batteries are different from gas powered vehicles. You can risk electrocution if attempted by yourself.

  • Considering the Global warming all vehicles has to be hybrid. As coin has two side, Hybrid technology also has some advantage & some disadvantage.

    Advantages :

    * Hybrids help the environment by using less fuel

    * Since an electric car runs off a battery charged from electricity rather than fuel from an internal combustion engine, it produces less pollution than a usual car as electric plants can more efficiently produce energy than internal combustion engines.

    Disadvantages :

    * Much slower acceleration times than a normally aspirated car.

    * Maintenance on the electrical system must be done by a professional. Hybid batteries are different from gas powered vehicles. You can risk electrocution if attempted by yourself.

  • I think the zero to sixty thing is a legitamte concern considering the car was ment for those drivers you were talking about. why buy this car if you want to spend 35,000 on a car and not go fast. And yeah you loose the most power from your engine through awd, rwd comes in second and then fwd. A hybrid being fast is a very acheivable thing look at the 911 gt3 R Hybrid by porsche(I think its actually in a porsche comercial). It also had the front wheels eletric and the rear wheels conventional and the front wheels cold be turned on and off the driver said he would use it to pull him through curvers or if he started to oversteer he would activate the front wheels to pull the rear ones back in to line he also called it a “push to pass” button. I think if mitsubishi did something like this it would be the shit. sorry about the paragraph and lack of grammer. I was bored and never made good grades in grammer.