The death in 2018 of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution remains fresh in our memory and that of many a car enthusiast. A legendary lineage of rally-bred four doors that mobilised a generation of keen petrolhead with accessible high performance and god-like levels of grip and agility.
Ever since the first Lancer Evolution emerged in 1992, the company has been constantly improving upon the formula, each with the express purpose of distilling the knowledge gained from the WRC rally stages to a road car, resulting in 10 generations of all-wheel drive super saloons.
As the new century wore on, though, the crossover craze turned into a mainstay, and Mitsubishi’s lacklustre sales gave it no choice but to focus its efforts to the kinds of cars the majority of buyers were eyeing, leaving the Lancer as one of many casualties as a new order strengthened its hold on the automotive market.
However, now that Mitsubishi is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, there is some renewed interest in the idea of continuing where the Evo X left as part of a larger campaign to return to its performance car roots, or so says Autocar.
Importantly, the Japanese marque will exchange expertise and ideas with the Renault Sport on its way to (possibly) reviving Mitsubishi’s lost RalliArt division. With this in mind, the most likely candidate as donor to the Evo’s revival is the Megane RS.
Currently, the 1.8-litre MR turbocharged-petrol four-cylinder engine produces as much as 220kW in its most potent form and, outside of the hot hatch, also powers the Alpine A110 in a mid-engine configuration.
As previous Evos have been known to offer as much as 302kW, both Mitsubishi and Renault Sport might need to head back to the drawing board to create an engine capable of sustaining such high amounts of boost and still maintain responsiveness and everyday reliability.
It’s highly possible that a jointly developed 2.0-litre unit will be the result and will also feature in the next-generation Megane RS upon its debut - perhaps even an A110 of its day. Another key aspect of the Evo equation is the unique four-wheel drive system.
Again, close collaboration with Renault Sport will be sought to bring new innovation to the most recent version of the Super All Wheel Control. In addition to active torque vectoring and active yaw control, we could see features such as all-wheel steering make their debut in a Mitsubishi. Power will be sent through either a dual-clutch automatic or a standard manual transmission, naturally.
According to the report, this 11th-generation Lancer Evolution will be developed with the group’s CMF-C/D F4 platform in mind, underpinnings that will also form the foundation of other models such as the Infiniti Q50 and Renault Megane, though it is unclear how expansive the Lancer family is planned to be.