Mitsubishi weighs Evo hybrid

Automotive News reports on Mitsubishi's exploration of a hybrid version of its Evo rally car.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Mitsubishi's turbocharged all-wheel-drive Lancer Evolution may become an electric-gasoline hybrid with in-wheel motors. Mitsubishi

TOKYO--Mitsubishi is working on a green overhaul of its turbocharged all-wheel-drive Lancer Evolution so the gas-guzzling sedan won't go extinct.

The new vision for the performance car is an electric-gasoline hybrid with in-wheel motors, Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko says.

Mitsubishi wants to preserve the brand equity it has established for performance cars and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

But the Evo needs to be in step with the company's effort to rebrand itself as a global leader in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

"I don't think it's a good idea to introduce the next generation of Lancer Evolution that is similar to what we have today," Masuko said in a Nov. 1 interview.

"But if we think of hybrids with in-wheel electric motors, then there could be the possibility of a Lancer Evolution with an in-wheel motor," he said. "That's the image that I personally have."

Masuko said Mitsubishi developed a prototype Lancer Evolution electric vehicle with in-wheel motors in 2005. But the car was limited by the battery's charging time and driving range.

A plug-in hybrid version wouldn't face those restrictions, he said. And the in-wheel motors would be an ideal way to provide power to all four wheels. Mitsubishi is developing in-wheel motor technology, but it is not ready for market yet, Masuko said.

A new model is "not too long" in the future, he said. "I don't know if it's going to be a plug-in or a hybrid, but it's not too far in the future."

(Source: Automotive News)


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Christmas Buying Guide

The best gadgets for everyone on your list

From headphones to wearable tech, here is everything for tech enthusiasts this Christmas.