Mitsubishi stakes its future on electric cars

Mitsubishi Stakes its Future

In a shock revelation, Mitsubishi has told Autocar magazine that it is ditching its boy-racer Lancer Evolution cars in favour of electric vehicles.

By Will Dron on March 3, 2011 5:11 PM

In a shock revelation, Mitsubishi has told Autocar magazine that it is ditching its boy-racer Lancer Evolution cars in favour of electric vehicles.

The Japanese manufacturer is renowned mainly for its fire-breathing, Subaru Impreza WRX-rivalling Evos, but recently put itself on the EV map with the little i-MiEV, which you can buy today.

Mitsubishi has also been showing off its Global Concept Small car, which will initially take an internal combustion engine but is designed to take a 100% electric drivetrain. The company plans to introduce eight pure-electric or hybrid cars by 2015.

But the real shocker is that Mitsubishi appears to be turning its back on the successful Evo models in favour of an electric future. The Lancer Evolution X will be the last of its type.

“There is still a demand [for the Evo],” said Gayu Eusegi, Mitsubishi’s global product director, “but we must stop… Our influence now is EV technology.”

Mitsubishi wants to be known for lowering CO2 and environmentally friendly technologies and the rally car-inspired Evo just doesn’t fit that image. Removing it from the mix will make it easier for people to understand the Mitsubishi brand going forward, said Eusegi.

For fear that this makes electric cars look slow and boring, we’ll point you to the Tesla Roadster and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG e-cell on our Cars page. And performance electric cars aren’t out of the question for Mitsubishi, either.

“Yes. Maybe the world can change, and maybe someday we can do a motor race by electric vehicles,” said Eusegi. “Maybe then we can enter the market again.”

View the source article here.