Apparently Mitsubishi has run out of names! Barely one year after the Japanese manufacturer discontinued the Lancer and its Evolution brands, they are already thinking of bringing them back. However, it might just be a bit (a lot) different from what we remember!
The Lancer and its more popular EVO sibling ruled the sport-sedan space for most part of the last two decades. However, dwindling sales and newer competition made the car a not-so feasible prospect. So Mitsubishi put it down, leaving its legacy to the tuners and custom houses.
When the Lancer finally comes back to the production line, Mitsubishi’s chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto says that he wants it as a “new-age hatchback, a crossover or something in between” – and hence the hatch cross! We are also not quite sure what that means yet but their 2018 e-Evolution concept might give some hints.
2020 Mitsubishi Lancer- Why not a sedan?
Mitsubishi was very clear about shifting focus to SUVs and Crossovers from last year. Almost all their new cars fall in to one of the two above categories. They do have the Mirage sedan though, which earns respectable sales across USA.
Overall, Mitsubishi currently has the Mirage for a sedan, Outlander as their flagship SUV and the Eclipse as the Crossover. Only thing missing is a hatchback, which should be addressed next time around.
The new Lancer, much to our disappointment, is not a Sedan because Mitsubishi feels that there is no market for it. The Crossover segment and hatchbacks, on the other hand, are selling like hot cakes. They want a piece of this pie!
What can we expect from the designers?
Mitsubishi’s chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto in an interview with Auto Express expressed his interest in creating a ‘new type of hatchback’, and added that his design team is thinking very radically. Best we can contemplate is something vaguely similar to e-Evolution concept that was showcased at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
Design wise, the car is expected to have a prominent ‘edgy’ front fascia with sleek headlights. The roof will be low and the rear should sport a sleek new design with 3-point star taillights.
Remember the Mitsubishi Expander that was launched in South East Asian markets last year. Well, this new car might just take a leaf out of that one as well.
Will there be a hybrid?
The 2020 Mitsubishi Lancer will be based on a new platform developed in association with Nissan-Renault. The manufacturer already has a PHEV in the Outlander, and similar equipment will be present on this one as well (at least as an option). High ground clearance and a capable all-wheel drive system will also be part of the package.
Price and release date
The new Lancer could potentially compete with cars like the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Kicks. It will be released next year as a 2018 model with pricing similar to the above mentioned cars.