Has the world turned upside down? The longtime rally inspired 2011 Subaru Impreza STI is going to be offered in a diesel. Even madder is the fact that Mitsubishi is going to be offering the Lancer Evolution as a hybrid.
Due in 2012, the next-generation STI will feature a better version of the 2.0-liter turbodiesel offered in the current base Impreza in the United Kingdom. The flat-four layout should mean that the STI could retain its superb handling and agility.
That doesn’t mean that the petrol engines are history. Insiders are reporting that Subaru is working on a downsized four-cylinder, that could be based on the 1.5-liter flat four that is currently used in the base Impreza.
Mitsubishi, on the other hand, is working on a diesel hybrid for the next-generation Lancer Evolution. Mitsubishi hopes that the change will save the Evo from tightening economy and emissions regulations.
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Don’t like these new motors? Just be thankful that the Evo is still around. Insiders reported last month that Mitsubishi had given serious thought to ditching the sports sedan.
After other plans had failed, such as a petrol hybrid, the Japanese automaker has decided to start working on a diesel hybrid.
Engineers hope that the mixture of diesel torque and the electric motor will help the Evo retain its power and speed. Mitsubishi is hoping that the Evo XI will be able to hit 62 miles per hour in under five seconds.
The handling will be controlled by a revised version of the four-wheel drive system, named S-AWC. The system integrates steering, braking and traction control to deliver top-notch handling.
Subaru has this technology planned for the Impreza STI, but it’s unlikely to appear in the next generation sports sedan.
With these new motors, Mitsubishi and Subaru will need to refocus their racing activities and possibly switch to track racing, rather than rally.
No word on if these new motors will be coming to the U.S. Americans are slowly taking to diesel power, but trying to convince an EVO or STI buyer that diesel is the best option might be a bit difficult.