Since negotiations to borrow a platform from Renault for its next Lancer small car went sour, Mitsubishi Motors has decided to begin development of an all-new replacement on its own - for now.
Speaking to the media, Mitsubishi Motors executive vice president Don Swearingen said the Japanese automaker has already started work while it looks for a new partner for the project, and that it couldn't afford to wait any longer.
"We are talking with a potential partner at this time, (but) at the same time we’re doing an internal design of the vehicle," he told industry paper Wards Auto.
"We’re running parallel because we cannot wait any longer to see if a partnership will work out. If it falls through then we’re another year behind."
But according to Swearingen, even if another partner (Nissan is rumoured to be the current front-runner) came on board this year, the new Lancer would still be at least 18 months to two years away.
With a potential on-sale date of 2017, that would make the current CY-generation Lancer ten years old by the time it retires. The typical life span of a passenger car is six years.
But despite its advanced years, the current Lancer still achieves reasonable sales thanks to keen retail pricing and heavy discounting by dealers.