TOKYO: Mitsubishi’s Lancer nameplate has a murky future, with the current model already well advanced in its years and its replacement still yet to be confirmed.
The performance flagship Lancer Evolution has even dimmer prospects. Mitsubishi bigwigs have effectively nixied its chances of surviving into the next model generation and have instead proposed an SUV-based high-performance model as its replacement.
If you’re walking past a Mitsubishi dealership, take a good look a the Lancer Evolution inside – odds are it’ll be the last of its kind.
That fact isn’t lost on Mitsubishi Japan, which will be showing a tuned-up version of the Lancer Evolution at next month’s Tokyo Auto Salon dubbed quite appropriately the “Final Concept”.
And it won’t be some sticker-tuned “special edition” either. Thanks to Japanese tuning house HKS, the Lancer Evolution Final Concept boasts a meaty 353kW from its 2.0 litre turbo four-pot.
The standard turbo has been swapped for a larger HKS item, and the intake and exhaust plumbing flows more freely too. The ECU features a different tune to take advantage of the new hardware, and power goes to all four wheels via the standard five-speed manual.
The Final Concept’s cooling system has also been upgraded, and the car rides on adjustable HKS suspension and 19-inch RAYS racing wheels.
There’s no word on whether the Final Concept will spawn a road-going version, but it would certainly make a fitting farewell for Mitsubishi’s rally-bred rocket.
The Lancer Evolution Final Concept will make its first public appearance at the Tokyo Auto Salon on January 9.