A few weeks ago we had the surprise announcement that was Mitsubishi’s revival of the long-dormant Ralliart brand. Given that Ralliart was mothballed due to financial problems for the Japanese carmaker, it might have seemed odd for it to be brought back in the midst of yet more money problems, but it does make some sense.
Company bosses want to inject what they dub as “Mitsubishi-ness” into a less than inspiring product line-up. This won’t just be some token trim pieces, either - there are plans to reenter various motorsport series around the world. Naturally, you’re probably hoping all of this points to a revival of the Lancer Evolution, but sorry, that’s not happening.
According to Japanese publication Response, shareholders have asked for the car to return. However, Mitsubishi president Takao Kato poured cold water on the idea during the shareholder annual general meeting, citing current financial pressures and heavy investment in electrification. He seemed open to resurrecting cars like the Evo in the future, though.
“The company is still not strong enough,” he said (translated from Japanese), adding, “We had a big deficit in the previous fiscal year, so we first revived the company and then put out the cars that fans are waiting for. I want to go.”
By the time any future Evo arrives, if at all, the automotive landscape will be very different from how it was when the Evo X went out of production five years ago. A fire-breathing, purely internal combustion-powered beast seems unlikely.
In any case, right now Mitsubishi is more focused on restructuring in the wake of the 312 billion yen (£2 billion) 2020 fiscal year loss it reported last month. The firm’s ‘Small but Beautiful’ three-year business plan involves scaling back its European operations, with only badge-engineered Nissans sold on the continent. Mitsubishi won’t be selling anything at all in the UK, pivoting to an aftersales business here.
Source: Response via Motor 1