While some famous Mitsubishi names like Eclipse and Galant have been retired in recent years, the Lancer Evolution still commands respect in performance car circles. A 500 horsepower plug-in diesel hybrid Evo is said to be one possibility going forward, and such a car would shine the limelight on Mitsubishi once again.
While Mitsubishi has had a tough time of selling cars in America recently, it isn’t for lack of trying or innovation. When it was launched, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV was the cheapest electric vehicle you could buy, and with its rear-wheel drive it was actually kind of fun to drive. Mitsubishi also took a couple of specially-prepared electric race cars to Pikes Peak, turning in an impressive performance though they failed to take the top spot.
There is also the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a unique plug-in hybrid SUV that can reportedly deliver fantastic gas mileage despite its heft. And let’s not forget about the diesel-hybrid Mitsubishi pickup concept that caught our attention earlier this year. So Mitsubishi definitely isn’t shy when it comes to applying hybrid or electric technology to its cars; they just haven’t found their niche yet.
Traditionally, the Lancer Evolution has had around 300 horsepower, enough for it to compete with cars like the Ford Mustang and Golf GTI. But a new report suggests that Mitsubishi could take the Evo to the next level of performance, offering up to 500 combined horsepower from a hybrid drivetrain.
This would let the Evo compete with cars on the next plane of performance, like the Nissan GT-R or the Chevrolet Corvette.. What kind of hybrid drivetrain remains up in the air, and the project hasn’t necessarily been greenlighted yet, but word is it could be a traditional plug-in hybrid, or maybe even a diesel-hybrid.
Could high-performance hybrids be the niche Mitsubishi needs to fill?