Ecomento.com recently posed this question on their website, so it got us at Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi thinking—could the beloved Evo return as a plug-in hybrid SUV? Our answer? Quite possibly. Check out what ecomento.com has to say below. Let us know what you think? Would you drive a reimagined Evo as an SUV?
Mitsubishi has hinted at the possibility of using the Evolution badge on a plug-in hybrid SUV before, and now one of the executives is offering a few more details.
Mitsubishi is interested in launching a version of the Outlander Sport (known as the ASX outside the U.S.) with “Evo characteristics,” boss Tetsuro Aikawa said in a recent interview with Autocar.
Aikawa noted that an electrified Evo sets up a bit of wordplay in Japanese. In that language “Oh” pronounced the way it is in “Evo” means king. Then there are the letters “EV,” the acknowledged shorthand for “electric vehicle.” Put the two together and you get… the king of electric vehicles?
The plug-in hybrid Evo would be based on the next-generation Outlander Sport, which was previewed by the Concept XR-PHEV II Mitsubishi unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The concept’s powertrain consists of a gasoline engine of indeterminate size and a 120-kilowatt electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike the outgoing Evo and the majority of crossovers and traditional SUVs, it’s front-wheel drive.
Clearly, Mitsubishi will have to do some work to make its next plug-in hybrid worthy of the Evo name, but it appears to have plenty of time.
While the new Outlander Sport could debut as early as next year, the Evolution model won’t appear until “far into the future,” if it gets built at all.
Mitsubishi will sell a non-ego plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander Sport for buyers looking solely for efficiency, but it’s probably a bit too early to put down a deposit for that performance version.
Still, the idea of a crossover that’s both efficient and sporty is intriguing. If plug-in hybrids are ever going to become truly mainstream, they’ll have to take on more than safe and sensible roles.