It’s no surprise to the auto world that Mitsubishi has a few new SUVs and crossovers in the works; the company announced themselves that the brand would be taking a new, crossover-focused direction following the success of the Outlander. This announcement was swiftly followed by the discontinuation of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a performance-focused variant of the Lancer nameplate. Now, however, rumors are flying that a new Mitsubishi crossover could revive the Evolution name.
The rumors sprung into existence following an interview with Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer Trevor Mann, who stated the company is currently considering the possibility of bringing a more performance-oriented vehicle back into the lineup. The kicker in his statement, however, was that the new performance flagship “doesn’t necessarily have to be a sedan.”
Interestingly, this vague announcement comes on the heels of the unveiling of Mitsubishi’s upcoming Eclipse Cross. The new crossover, which fills a segment between the Outlander and Outlander Sport, takes the “Eclipse” name from the sports coupe in Mitsubishi’s lineup in the 90s.
So, will we be getting a new Mitsubishi crossover that will carry on the “Evolution” name? That remains to be seen. But Mann has given us a few pieces of the puzzle, and, paired with Mitsubishi’s track record of resurrecting dead badging, we at Bell Mitsubishi have a theory or two of our own.
It isn’t too often that we hear of a vehicle ceasing production, but that’s exactly what’s happening to the Mitsubishi Lancer. The Japanese brand cut the Lancer Evolution two years ago and with sales of the sedan continuing to decline, the automaker has decided to cease production. The decision to cease Mitsubishi Lancer production came long before Nissan and Mitsubishi joined forces.
Mitsubishi spoke to the media ahead of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, announcing the decision to cut the Mitsubishi Lancer from the lineup come August. The sedan saw just over 14,000 Lancers sold in the United States in 2016, a 19% drop.
The Mitsubishi Lancer was first introduced to drivers at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, much to the pleasure of enthusiasts. The sedan saw a surge in popularity in its early years, but sales continued to drop as crossovers grew more popular.
While the Lancer may be outgoing, Mitsubishi is bringing in new models to replace it. A new crossover, slotted between the shrinking Outlander Sport and regular Outlander will hit the market in 2018. The unnamed model will see a turbocharged engine and feature plenty of technology.
We here at Bell Mitsubishi are sad to see the legendary Lancer heading off into the sunset for good come August.
Mitsubishi Motors North America just saw its best February since 2008. Sales were up 26% compared to February 2014. Year-to-date sales are up 29.3% compared to last year as well. The Outlander Sport crossover led the gains closely followed by the Lancer sports sedan.
Totals came out to 7,533 vehicles sold in February 2015, up from 5,977 in February 2014. The Outlander Sport compact crossover had its best-ever February, marking 2,394 units sold. Mitsubishi Lancer sales were up 64% compared to February 2014. The compact sports sedan sold just under 2,100 units. The fuel efficient Mirage five-door sold 1,863 units, the best since it joined the lineup in 2013.
“Mitsubishi Motors continues to demonstrate outstanding momentum going forward in 2015,” said Don Swearingen, Executive Vice President. “Our dealers are seeing increased traffic, posting strong sales with our core models. We are looking forward to a good sales year that will be bolstered by launching new and significantly redesigned versions of key models throughout the year starting next month at the New York International Auto Show.”
Year-to-date totals come out to 14,026 vehicles sold compared to less than 11,000 in 2014. Things are looking good for Mitsubishi.