Earlier this year, Mitsubishi declared that the 2012 version of its high-performance halo car (the rally-inspired “Evo”) would be the last. New reports, however, claim that Mitsubishi has been quietly developing an eleventh generation Evo that combines two of green-motoring’s favorite technologies: hybrid power, and diesel power!
Ignoring the fact that Chris was right about the whole hybrid Evo thing, that Formula 1 cars have been effectively enhancing their performance for several seasons with hybrid power, and the fact that Porsche’s GT3 flywheel-hybrids are kicking butt at racetracks all across the globe, the next Evo’s hybrid/diesel powertrain is still something of a surprise. To date, there have been no successful top-flight rally contenders running hybrid power, and the company’s president Osamu Masuko (who withdrew from the World Rally Championship in 2005) has said that Mitsubishi has no desire to return to competition …
… so what’s with the new hybrid Evo XI?
It’s possible that the limited “success” of the Chevy Volt has somewhat tempered Mitsubishi’s all-electric, Sanrio and BBQ-fueled ambitions for global EV dominance, but it might be more likely that a 5-sec. 0-60 AWD premium-priced diesel hybrid would be just the sort of “PR hero” a struggling Mitsubishi needs while it transitions its marketing efforts away from the Gran Turismo crowd and towards a more – responsible (?) audience.
British magazine Autocar reports that the new Evo XI will feature a revised version of the S-AWC four-wheel drive system, which integrates braking, steering and traction control, and be capable of the same quick acceleration numbers the current Evo, with lower emissions and better fuel economy than the similarly priced (and similarly potent!) Subaru WRX STi.