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Trevor Collett | Oct, 06 2014 | 1 Comment

Reports that Mitsubishi is to build a high-performance hybrid SUV, in place of its ageing Lancer Evolution hero, would appear to be firming into fact.

The Japanese carmaker conceded earlier this year that the current Lancer ‘Evo’ would be the last, and has been reasonably open about plans for its possible replacement.

Speaking with the UK’s Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Mitsubishi product boss Kanenori Okamoto reportedly confirmed the SUV plans, saying “[The Evo] will be replaced in spirit by an SUV with high performance”.

Furthermore, the new ‘Evo SUV’ could feature technology inspired by the MiEV Evolution III EV racer that finished second and third at this year’s Pikes Peak hill climb.

This could mean an all-electric version of the future performance car will be available, either as a stand-alone model or joined by a hybrid version.

Okamoto said Mitsubishi is yet to determine which of its current SUV models will form the basis of the Evo replacement, although an all-new model is not out of the question.

The carmaker’s product boss said the Evo SUV’s technology would eventually filter down into its ‘regular’ road cars, adding that the project would inspire Mitsubishi’s younger engineers.

Despite the obvious connections to the Evolution rally car program that produced World Rally Championships in the 1990s, there are currently no plans to race the SUV version.

The Outlander PHEV from this year's Australasian Safari - a sign of things to come?
The Outlander PHEV from this year's Australasian Safari - a sign of things to come?

Mitsubishi’s UK boss, Lance Bradley, told Autocar that the Japanese carmaker’s entire range in the UK would feature an electric or plug-in hybrid version over the next five years - starting with the new ASX SUV.

The Outlander PHEV’s success in the UK market is partly driving the push for more similar models, with Bradley saying Mitsubishi is banking heavily on the success of plug-in hybrid technology.

MORE: Mitsubishi News & Reviews

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