Death Warrant Signed: Mitsubishi Lancer to be Executed Fall of 2017
Another one bites the dustby Robert Moore, on
The introduction of television all but killed the radio star and the second wind that is the SUV craze is killing off some iconic cars that we’re really going to miss. It wasn’t that long ago that Mitsubishi decided to quit the rally business, and shortly thereafter (in the grand scheme of things,) the band put an end to the EVO program for the rally icon that is the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. Since Mitsubishi gave up its love for Rally, we had a feeling that the base Lancer would eventually meet its demise, and boy were we right. Speaking to Autoblog, Don Swearingen – the Executive VP and COO of Mitsubishi North America – said that the Mirage G4 will continue on, but production of the Mitsubishi Lancer will officially end in August of 2017. That means that after 40+ years of production and 10 generations (according to Mitsubishi) there will be no successor and an untimely death.
Of course, the Lancer itself wasn’t exactly competitive, but the Subaru WRX STI and the Lancer EVO definitely went nose to nose on many occasions. In the end, Mitsubishi sees fit to focus on the crossover and SUV market instead of doing anything with its smaller cars. And, that was never more evident than with the Lancer, which has been in its current generation for a decade. It did get a facelift in 2016, but it was one of the laziest facelifts ever and continued on seriously underpowered compared to its main competitor the Subaru WRX. Furthermore, it didn’t stand a chance against other rally-ready models like the Ford Focus ST, for example.
Of course, the standard Lancer didn’t get the Rally love that the EVO saw, but it was the basis of the EVO and its stellar performance in the WRC. But, all that is over now. And, as much as we would love to see the Lancer makes its way back into WRC, the execution of the EVO and now the base Lancer brings us to the cold, hard reality that it’s never going to happen.
Why it Matters
Those who aren’t familiar with older variants of the Lancer may not get it, but it was, at one time, a pretty awesome car. The most recent generation was a complete letdown in more ways than one, so it isn’t surprising that sales have more than sucked. The car is significantly underpowered, the design is boring, and the materials cheap. But, one has to ask if it would fall victim to the same fate if Mitsubishi had actually cared about it and not been so lazy with the final-generation model. After all, the Subaru WRX is in the same class and has soldiered on pretty damn well. But, Subaru actually cares about the WRX and people love it for its decent power output and intriguing design. But, Mitsubishi is struggling right now and has no choice but to follow the trends to stay afloat.
Read our full review on the Mitsubishi Lancer here.