An unlikely benefactor could rebirth the Lancer Evolution in the best way

Fall of 2017 was a sad time for fans of Mitsubishi, the Lancer, and the Evolution name as a whole. That season marked the end of an icon in the rally world– the last thing we had to hold onto after Mitsubishi gave up its quest to dominate Rally. SUVs, poor planning, and a dated lineup took a hard toll on the company, and certain cars just couldn’t make the cut. Things got worse when Mitsubishi told us that the Evolution name would return, but it would probably be plastered to an SUV or crossover and not a proper rally sedan as we had all hoped. All of that could change, though, as a new report from Autocar points to the possibility that a new Mitsubishi Lancer – an 11th-generation model, to be precise – is in the works. How this is going to happen, and what makes it possible, however, is something none of us expected.

Is Mitsubishi Really Bringing Back the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan Might Rise From the Dead, But How? High Resolution Exterior
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A report from Autocar claims undisclosed “Japanese-based sources” promise that an 11th-generation Lancer is in the works. Details are slim at this point, obviously, but the highlight of the conversation is that – regardless of what trim levels will be available – an Evolution model will be the cream of the crop.

Absolutely nothing has been confirmed by Mitsubishi at this point, so it’s all speculation and rumors, but this certainly sounds good to us.

What will make it possible, though, is the Renault Megane – an unlikely benefactor that could give us the Subaru slaying, trident-bearing sports sedan we’ve all wanted since Mitsubishi got lazy with the Lancer and let it die a slow, miserable death. We don’t know why, though. Mitsubishi showed us what it was capable of with the U.K.-only Lancer Evolution FQ-440 MR and its 440 horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque. To this day, it’s quite literally the most powerful four-cylinder production car ever made, besting even the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A45 S sedan. Sadly, our future didn’t play out the way we’d hoped and, just a few years later, the Lancer and EVO names were dead.

What Do We Know About the Mitsubishi Lancer XI

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan Might Rise From the Dead, But How? Exterior
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The Mitsubishi Lancer XI, if it is really in the works, will borrow a lot of DNA from the next-gen Renault Megane.

It will ride atop the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CMF-C/D F4 platform and will come standard with AWD – that’s the beauty of this platform and something that could allow Mitsubishi to finally go head-to-head with the Subaru WRX STI once again. There is a caveat here, though.

Renault Megane Specifications
Megane GT-Line Megane GT Megane RS Megane RS Trophy
Engine 1.2-liter 1.6-liter 1.8-liter 1.8-liter
Air Induction Forced, Turbo Forced, Tubro Forced, Turbo Forced, Turbo
Transmission 7-Speed DCT 7-Speed DCT 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual
Horsepower 130 @ 4,500 rpm 205 @ 6,000 rpm 274 @ 6,000 rpm 300 @ tba
Torque 151 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm 206 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm 287 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm 310 @ tba
Top Speed 123.6 mph 142.91 mph 158 mph 162 mph (est)
0-62.1 mph 10.3 sec 7.1 sec 5.8 sec 5.7 sec
Curb Weight 2,788.8 lbs 3,068.8 lbs 3,145 lbs (man trans)  TBA

See, the current Renault Megane – the fourth-gen model – was introduced just a few years ago back in 2016. Since the Lance XI will be based on the next-gen Megane, we’re looking at a development time of at least 3 or 4 more years since each generation of the Megane has typically had a lifespan of 6 to 8 years in the past. Even then, we’ll probably only see the base Lancer model and will have to wait at least another year or two for the hotter Evolution model that will be based on the next-gen Megane RS Hatchback.

Mitsubishi Lancer Specifications
Mitusbishi Lancer 2.0 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.4 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-440 MR
Engine 2.0-liter 2.4-liter 2.0- liter 2.0-liter
Transmission 5MT \ CVT 5MT \ CVT 6-speed twin clutch \ 5-speed short-throw 6-speed DCT
Horsepower 148 @ 6,000 rpm 168 @ 6,000 rpm 291 @ 6,500 rpm 440 @ tba
Torque 145 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm 167 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm 300 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 412 lb-ft @ tba
Top Speed 135 mph (est) 145 mph (est) 162 mph 178 (unlimited)
0-60 mph 7.2 sec (est) 6.1 sec (est) 4.5 sec 3.8 seconds (est)

The real question is just how powerful the next-gen Lancer will actually be. The current Megane RS Trophy is actually the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to ever tackle the Nurburgring, so that gives us a lot of hope for the next-gen Lance Evolution. The Trophy packs a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-banger with just 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque – a bit shy of that crazy, limited-edition, 440-horsepower EVO of days past. However, the next-gen Megane RS Trophy is rumored to be packed with a 48-Volt mild-hybrid system and might push out as much as 341 horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque. That should make it even faster around the ‘Ring and could make the next-gen Lancer Evo the fastest one to ever exist, even if it is some 100 horses shy of the U.K.-only Evo X FQ-440 MR. This will be possible thanks to the lighter architecture of the CMF-C/D F4 platform and its extreme rigidity.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan Might Rise From the Dead, But How? High Resolution Exterior
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Then again, this could all be a bunch of crap and Mitsubishi might end up slapping the iconic name on another SUV just like it did with the Eclipse name. But, this news does give us some hope, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Can Mitsubishi bring back the sports sedan in a time when SUVs reign supreme and anything with a low ride height is considered a niche model? Only time will tell, friends.

Further Reading

2008 - 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2008 - 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-440 MR High Resolution Exterior
- image 546963

Read our full review on the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-440 MR.

2017 Renault Megane Sedan
- image 682265

Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Megane Sedan.

2018 Renault Megane R.S. High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 730858

Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Megane R.S.

2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven Exterior High Resolution
- image 722056

Read our full driven review on the2018 Subaru WRX STI.

Source: Autocar

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