By on June 28, 2019

Lancer Evolution vs WRX STi had been as classic a rivalry as Mustang vs Camaro. But, with the departure of the Evo in 2016, there has been a hole in the marketplace and in the hearts of enthusiasts. Reports coming out of Autocar point to a revival of the famed rivalry, with an theoretical Evo XI getting some help from Renault.

While the Evolution name has been rumored to be revived in the form of some sort of SUV or electric vehicle — or both — the Lancer Evolution may yet return in proper super-sedan form. While details are spotty, it is speculated that the engine would come from the next-generation Renault Mégane RS. The current Mégane RS is the front-wheel drive Nürburgring production vehicle record holder, sporting a 296 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine. With the next-generation engine anticipated to displace 2.0-liters, it may utilize a bit of electric boosting from a 48V mild-hybrid system to close in on the 341 hp coming from Subaru’s WRX STi S209.

The power is expected to be transmitted through a dual-clutch transmission and Mitsubishi-developed S-AWC four-wheel drive system. While purists may select a manual — if one is made available — the dual-clutch would provide a performance advantage that’s not currently being offered from Subaru.

The underpinnings for the next-generation Lancer Evolution would likely be on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Common Module Family (CMF) C/D platform. This platform is utilized in the United States under the Nissan Rogue and Infiniti QX50. Both sedan and hatchback versions of the Lancer could be offered, though it is likely that the sedan body-style would be the one utilized for the Evolution XI.

Mitsubishi has been working to reestablish itself in the U.S. and has been seeing steady growth here since 2012. The return of a performance model could be just what it needs to get people to notice the Diamond Star once again, and thus buy their SUVs. After all, that’s where the real money exists.

[Images: Mitsubishi]

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5 Comments on “Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Could Make a Comeback with Help from Renault...”

  • avatar

    Just do it Mitsubishi, please!!! With the Focus RS and ST checking out, and the current WRX STi being very long in the tooth, the Civic Type-R and the Golf R need a new buddy to hang out with! Have to beat the new WRX STi to the gate. Plus, at least in the US, what does Mitsubishi have? A very below average Mirage and some very average crossovers. It’s not even on many shopper’s radars like it was back in the 90s when the letter/number combo “VR-4” meant a lot.

    The Evo has always been one of those cars I’ve wanted, but could never pull the trigger on getting. There was always an excuse like the insurance was too high, or the theft rate meant I’d have to hire security to guard it, and so on. And then they because so overpriced at the end…forget it.

    The Megane RS dethroned the Civic Type-R at the ‘ring? When did that happen? Anyway, that makes it some excellent bones to build on – just to it Mitsubishi!

  • avatar

    I’m on my 2nd dual-clutch Evo X as a daily driver (had one in the US until 2015, bought one in Japan last Fall). I absolutely love these cars, they’re just soooo fun to drive and “practical enough”.

    I’m not familiar with the Megane’s engine or how easy it is to tune. I think the 4B11T had a far shorter life cycle than it deserved. The TC-SST is a decent DCT but a LITTLE BIT fragile.

    I’m cautiously optimistic for this potential Evo XI, but have pretty much no plans to upgrade from my X.

  • avatar

    How reliable is the X? I hear the dual-clutch model doesn’t do well with power upgrades? Is there enough room inside for 4 adults?

    • 0 avatar

      The dual-clutch can handle up to ~400lb-ft of torque without upgrades. Past that you are taking risks. Most people recommend an aftermarket transmission cooler even if only lightly modded.

      It can fit 4 adults if they are….normal-bodied (aka not the average fatass American). Legroom in the back is pretty poor unless the passengers are < 5ft8in. The Recaros are snug and some people find them hard and uncomfortable (the wife prefers the seats in the Mark II). I love them, but then I've swapped Recaros into almost every car I've had in Japan except my Mark II which is bone-stock, so I'm obviously biased.

  • avatar

    If they bring the Evo back just to make it automatic, so help me god…

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