Evo coming back? Mitsubishi could revive Lancer Evolution with Renault Megane RS engine – report

Mitsubishi has plans to revive a nameplate that’s feared, revered and loved by many – the Lancer Evolution – according to Autocar, citing Japanese-based sources. The plan, which will extend the legacy of the Evo series that started in 1992, will include a choice of four-door sedan or five-door hatchback bodystyles.

Apparently, it’s suggested that the reborn Lancer Evo will share key elements of its drivetrain with the next-generation Renault Megane RS. This would see a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and Mitsubishi’s own S-AWC four-wheel-drive system.

Today’s Megane RS hot hatch makes 299 PS and 420 Nm from a 1.8 litre turbo-four in Trophy form. Mitsubishi is now under Nissan, and part of the Renault Nissan Alliance, although that Franco-Japanese marriage is now on the rocks.

The report speculates that the possible addition of electronic boosting via a 48V mild-hybrid system being developed by the alliance could however bring output close to the current Subaru WRX STI S209‘s 341 hp and 433 Nm. Of course, the WRX STI is the other half of the iconic rivalry of the rally heroes – you were either in the blue or red corner.

Of course, with no more base Lancer to work on (the last one was discontinued globally in 2017), the 11th generation of the Evo has been planned to use the CMF-C/D F4 platform developed within the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.

The report adds that the planned Evo revival is part of MMC boss Osamu Masuko’s plan to restore the company as a prominent performance car maker, which it once was. The 70-year old chief is set to pass on the CEO baton soon, but will continue to lead the company in as chairman. Previous plans to create a successor to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X were frozen following heavy losses that led to MMC being bought over by Nissan in 2016.

If this is all true, it’s great news, but here’s an advice to Evo fans: Don’t believe anything until it’s official to avoid disappointment. It would also be good if the “new Evo” doesn’t turn out to be another SUV.

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