Final fling for Evo
AUSTRALIA has been allocated just 150 cars to farewell the iconic Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
The last of the turbocharged and four-wheel drive Evo pocket rockets — called, not surprisingly, the Final Edition — has just been announced with a strictly limited production run.
The last cars will come down the line in Japan in March and the Australian cars will be delivered in several batches, starting just before Christmas.
Mitsubishi Australia is promising a slight boost to power and torque from the current car — which has 217kW and 366Nm — but is not going into specifics.
It’s also refusing to discuss pricing, with the current model sitting at $52,990 as a five-speed manual and $58,990 with its twin-clutch auto.
“Yes, we will be getting 150 of the Final Edition cars. We’re hoping the first will be here before the end of the year,” says Mitsubishi spokeswoman, Shayna Welsh.
“We’ll wait and see on numbers, and if we can get more that’s something we will consider.”
The original Lancer Evo models were only imported privately for rally use in Australia, before the first official link was forged by Ralliart Australia in 2001 for the Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition.
The first Evo sold by Mitsubishi Motors Australia was the Evo VIII in 2004, but limited to 100 units per year under the Sporting and Enthusiasts Vehicle Scheme. The Evo IX was the first fully homologated Evo imported in 2005 and the Lancer Evolution, unofficially the Evo X, was first sold in 2008.
The current total is 2482 cars and the most popular is the Evo X with 1316 sales.
Welsh says the impact of the Lancer Evo has been obvious.
“Throughout the last decade, Lancer Evolution served as a halo for the Lancer sedan range and the Mitsubishi brand on the strength of its incredible rally heritage, stateof-the-art technology and surefooted dynamics,” she says.
“The Lancer Evolution has reached full maturity as a highperformance four-wheel drive sedan; however, Mitsubishi Motors will apply technologies honed from the Lancer Evolution, like S-AWC fourwheel drive, to other models, as with Outlander PHEV.”
Although Japan has virtually ruled out any Evo successor, as it switches its small-car focus to a joint program with Daimler, Welsh says the door is not completely closed.
“Mitsubishi Motors is aware there’s customer expectation to deliver a performance model, and a performance version of the company’s PHEV technology could be something it looks at in the future,” she says.
“MMC is about to compete in 2015 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup Baja Portalegre 500, Portugal, to demonstrate its progress in this area. The entry will be MMC’s first official factory entry in an off-road event for around a decade.
“In terms of Australia, there’s definitely an appetite for a performance model in our product line-up. We’re hoping it’s something MMC looks at in the future.”
Good sport: The Evo earned its formidable reputation as
a rally car in Australia