Mitsubishi’s e-evolution concept
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation unveiled its e-evolution concept at the Tokyo motor show.
It stands as a spiritual successor to several generations of all-wheel-drive sports sedan and a preview of a potential production high-performance all-electric small SUV.
Pointing to a possible return to building more exciting vehicles, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation described the concept – its first to be unveiled since entering the Renault-nissan Alliance last year – as a technical prototype to illustrate the strategic direction of a renewed Mitsubishi Motor Corporation.
The Japanese manufacturer further spruiked the value of a ‘new ethos’ inside the company – said to be embodied by the e-evolution concept – which would expand its customer base and accelerate its EV development.
It also said the banner of superior, high-performance 4WD control is carried forward by the Mitsubishi e-evolution concept.
Reviving a name used across 10 generations of Mitsubishi’s high-performance all-wheel-drive small sedan, which concluded with the Lancer Evolution X final edition in 2015, the four-seater five-door e-evolution swaps out a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for an electric motor powering the front wheels and two other motors feeding the rear tyres. The rear electric motors form part of a so-called Dual Motor Active Yaw Control system described as an electronically controlled torque-vectoring system that can individually power one or both back wheels, and which works in concert with a Super Allwheel Control vehicle dynamics system as seen in previous Evolution sedans.
An underfloor battery pack has also been designed to ensure a low centre of gravity.
Mitsubishi Motor Corporation says the concept uses high-torque, highperformance electric motors, fed by a high-capacity battery system to deliver the smooth and powerfully responsive performance that distinguishes EVS from internal combustion engine powered vehicles.
“With the triple motor 4WD system, cornering performance and traction performance are improved,” the company said.
“Whether driving around town, on expressways or winding roads, the fully electric vehicle always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors the driver intent.”
Appearing similar in size and stance to the Mitsubishi ex concept shown in 2015, the e-evolution has a coupestyle rear roofline and B-pillar-less side design with suicide rear doors opening to a futuristic cabin. A more aggressive version of the car-maker’s ‘dynamic shield’ front grille has been employed, with floating hexagonal inserts behind clear glass flanked on each side by nine rectangles that form part of the LED headlight treatment.
According to the car-maker, the raised rear tailgate nestled between the Y-shaped tail-lights gives a nod to the spare tyre cover of the Mitsubishi Pajero.
Inside, designers had the freedom to go beyond the traditional firewall thanks to the absence of an ICE.
A sweeping widescreen dominates the dashboard ahead of a smaller tri-screen driver display, which on the concept shows a monitor for the driver’s wellbeing.
A half-sized steering wheel provides a greater view of the driver display, while the raised centre console incorporates an automatic transmission lever, off-road mode dial and a small touchscreen flanked by climate controls.
In addition to its performance push, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation said the e-evolution concept would push the technological envelope with a tightly integrated system of artificial intelligence, connectivity, on-board and cloud computing.
EVOLUTIONARY TALE: Lancer Evo fans might be left disappointed but Mitsubishi is at least still pointing to its performance-car heritage – and its future priorities – with the sporting all-electric e-evolution SUV concept.