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Enthusiasts the world over shed a tear when Mitsu killed off the rally-bred Lancer Evolution last year. After 10 generations and nearly a quarter century of bringing high-tech speed to the masses, you could say we were growing rather fond of the Japanese imports. Thankfully, even with production now ended, Evo owners are still pushing the limits of what’s possible with the platform. The latest evidence of this comes from Texas and the TX2K17 drag racing event, where one Evo X managed to set a new world record by doing the quarter mile in an astonishing 8.48 seconds at 164 mph.

Documentation of the new record comes courtesy of 1320 Video, which put together this superb three-and-a-half minute bit of evidence, complete with tons of runs, lots of hard launches, and plenty of pleasing noises. The video starts with rollouts, which offer good prep for the later, more serious runs. The video then follows the Evo’s progress towards quicker and quicker ETs, ending with the record-setting 8.48. Watching this thing scoot down the strip is pretty awesome, especially when you consider the pilot is working a five-speed manual, rather than a sequential shifter. We can’t wait to see where it goes next.

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Mitsubishi kills off the EVO program and the Lancer just to build another SUV that bears the Eclipse name... sigh

Some could view the Mitsubishi brand as a problem child, being stuck in a kerfuffle as it tries to shift its lineup to meet the overwhelming demand for crossovers and SUVs. It was initially planning to hit the 100,000 sales mark here in the U.S. for 2016, but the financial year – which ends in March of 2017 – will be the first time in eight years that the brand has posted a loss. That suspected loss, which could amount to as much as ¥205 billion (about $2 million) can be attributed to the brand getting caught in its own scandal. But, that’s not the only reason.

Over the years, it has let down fans that prefer sporty cars over SUVs, with the Eclipse being killed off after 2012 and the Lancer soldiering on virtually unchanged and underpowered for a decade, just to be killed off before the start of 2018. With its focus consistently on SUV’s, it should come as no surprise that the brand has just announced a new compact SUV that will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport. Called the Eclipse Cross, the new SUV is actually a step forward for Mitsubishi and brings about a decent amount of technology, a new drivetrain option, and unique styling inside and out.

The Eclipse Cross is to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and while the name isn’t original – and maybe seen as stupid by those who remember the Eclipse coupe – the SUV itself is fresh and, at a glance, looks to be more advanced than anything else that Mitsubishi has on offer at the moment. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s dive on in a take a good look at Mitsubishi’s latest SUV.

Updated 02/28/2017: Mitsubishi dropped the official details on the new Eclipse Cross with just a week before its official debut in Geneva.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition

The question here is: With such a dated design, do you even care about a lazy limited edition?

Mitsubishi is struggling to keep up with demands presented by the masses, effectively letting certain once-successful models like the Lancer go untouched for years only to be discontinued like the EVO program that once made Mitsubishi a favorite rally brand. Now, as the Lancer makes its way to the guillotine, the brand shifts its focus to crossovers and SUVs in an attempt to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. We know there’s a new crossover planned to debut in Geneva later this year (for the love of all that is holy, we really hope that don’t call that model “Eclipse”) but that leaves Mitsubishi with nothing special for its time at the Chicago Auto Show. Until now, that is, as the brand has just announced that it will debut a limited-edition variant of the Outlander Sport that is said to bring “striking style and technology enhancements at an affordable price.” In other words, it’ll get a new set of wheels and a few other minor things outside, to go with some unique interior work and smartphone integration.

"As the brand sales leader, Outlander Sport does an exemplary job of offering consumers unmatched value at an attractive price," said Don Swearingen, executive vice president and chief operating officer, MMNA. "We’ve now taken that approach one step further by integrating additional standard equipment and technology into the Limited Edition at a price point that is unprecedented within the broader CUV segment."

The thing is, the current Outlander Sport (known as the RVR is some markets) has been around since 2010 and has only received a very mild facelift over the last seven years. It’s about time for Mitsubishi to push the Outlander through another generational shift, but it’s hoping this limited-edition model will maintain customer interest through the end of the year. Whether it will be successful in doing so is a completely different story, but let’s take a quick look at it to see what it offers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition.

The introduction of television all but killed the radio star and the second wind that is the SUV craze is killing off some iconic cars that we’re really going to miss. It wasn’t that long ago that Mitsubishi decided to quit the rally business, and shortly thereafter (in the grand scheme of things,) the band put an end to the EVO program for the rally icon that is the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. Since Mitsubishi gave up its love for Rally, we had a feeling that the base Lancer would eventually meet its demise, and boy were we right. Speaking to Autoblog, Don Swearingen – the Executive VP and COO of Mitsubishi North America – said that the Mirage G4 will continue on, but production of the Mitsubishi Lancer will officially end in August of 2017. That means that after 40+ years of production and 10 generations (according to Mitsubishi) there will be no successor and an untimely death.

Of course, the Lancer itself wasn’t exactly competitive, but the Subaru WRX STI and the Lancer EVO definitely went nose to nose on many occasions. In the end, Mitsubishi sees fit to focus on the crossover and SUV market instead of doing anything with its smaller cars. And, that was never more evident than with the Lancer, which has been in its current generation for a decade. It did get a facelift in 2016, but it was one of the laziest facelifts ever and continued on seriously underpowered compared to its main competitor the Subaru WRX. Furthermore, it didn’t stand a chance against other rally-ready models like the Ford Focus ST, for example.

Of course, the standard Lancer didn’t get the Rally love that the EVO saw, but it was the basis of the EVO and its stellar performance in the WRC. But, all that is over now. And, as much as we would love to see the Lancer makes its way back into WRC, the execution of the EVO and now the base Lancer brings us to the cold, hard reality that it’s never going to happen.

Source: Autoblog

Nissan Acquires Controlling Stake in Mitsubishi; Names Carlos Ghosn as Chairman

The Renault-Nissan Alliance takes Mitsubishi in from the cold

After struggling through years of lackluster sales and countless setbacks, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) just announced that Nissan has plunked down 237 billion yen (or $2.28 billion at current exchange rates, 10/20/16) to purchase 34 percent of its stock, handing Nissan a controlling stake in MMC. The deal will allow both companies to synergize across multiple departments and significantly reduce annual costs, while also promoting the sharing of vehicle platforms and new technology.

The deal is also expected to bring Mitsubishi some much-needed resources as it scrambles to address revelations that the automaker cheated on fuel economy data.

The acquisition was first announced back in May, following Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal story that broke in April. The deal was finalized only recently.

Taking the position of chairman-elect is Carlos Ghosn, the current CEO at Renault and Nissan, a role that should suit him well considering his experience with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Mitsubishi’s CEO and President, Osamu Masuko, will stay on board at his current position, despite some calling for his resignation in the wake of Mitsubishi’s mileage scandal.

“As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance,” Masuko said in a press release.

Ghosn justified Masuko staying on in a joint briefing, stating, “This sends a strong message that it’s not Nissan that’s going to transform Mitsubishi, it’s Mitsubishi that’s going to transform Mitsubishi.”

Mitsubishi’s press release on the deal states, “Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies.”

Synergies identified include purchasing cost-reduction, joint plant utilization, shared vehicle platforms, and technology sharing, which should encompass both autonomous driving and hybrid powertrains.

Joint cost reductions are estimated to save Mitsubishi around 25 billion yen annually, with Nissan saving roughly 24 billion yen in 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

Source: Mitsubishi

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Juro Limited Edition

Extra standard features at no additional cost. For the U.K. only

Mitsubishi launched the third-generation Outlander in 2012 with a redesigned exterior, new technology, and updated engines. More importantly, it also gained a hybrid drivetrain under the PHEV name. This version was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with a gasoline four-cylinder engine and two electric motors derived from the system used in the i-MiEV city car. The PHEV was a massive success, becoming the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle in 2014 and 2015, with global sales passing the 100,000-unit mark in March 2016. In 2015, the Outlander received an extensive facelift that included a new grille, LED headlamps, and a quieter cabin.

With the PHEV model sliding into second place sales-wise in 2016, behind the redesigned Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi is already taking measure to ensure that the hybrid crossover remains competitive until the next-generation model arrives. In the U.K., the Japanese brand just launched the PHEV Juro, a limited-edition model that comes with extra features as standard. Although based on one of the least expensive trims, the Juro is well-equipped and features TomTom navigation and smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among other features. What’s more, it doesn’t cost more than the model it is based on, enabling customers to make significant savings.

Unfortunately, the Juro isn’t available outside the United Kingdom, so don’t get you’re hopes up on seeing it in North America. But, until Mitsubishi offers something similar here, let’s have a closer look at the latest Outlander PHEV to arrive in British showrooms.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Juro.

Mitsubishi to Become Part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance

"Massive" strategic plan to be revealed by the end of the year

Rumors of Mitsubishi being absorbed into the Renault-Nissan Alliance have been swirling around for a quite a few months, but a deal could could be struck by the end of 2016. That’s the word from Renault Renault -Nissan Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who said that a "massive" business plan will be announced as soon as the group acquires a 34-percent ownership of the Japanese automaker.

The announcement was made at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where Ghosn also said he is confident that legal and government authorities will approve the $2.2 billion transaction. According to him, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is already working on a thorough business plan that will be unveiled by the end of the year.

“This is not a deal where we say, ‘OK, we made the deal, now let’s think what we can do together,” he told reporters. “No. The day we announce the deal, we’re going to tell you exactly what we’re going to do together. And it’s massive. It’s massive between Mitsubishi and Nissan. And also, it may be very significant between Renault and Mitsubishi.”

The new Alliance will also impact how Nissan and Mitsubishi work in the U.S., but Ghosn didn’t reveal specific details. "We will have to dig more in the U.S.,” he said. “But when you talk about purchasing, engineering, platforms, engines, plug-in hybrids — it’s massive."

The Renault-Nissan Alliance was founded in 1999 and it has since linked the two companies in vehicle development and management, bringing significant savings through platform and drivetrain sharing, among another shared strategies. It’s not yet clear how Mitsubishi will function in this equation, but the Japanese company already has a cooperation agreement with Nissan in markets such as Japan and India.

2016 Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept

Mitsubishi revealed yet another SUV concept at the Paris Motor Show

Unlike other Japanese manufacturers that focus on expanding their lineups, Mitsubishi took the opposite route recently, shrinking its offerings to only a handful of models. With the Lancer set to bow at the end of the year, the Mitsubishi range will include only four nameplates in the U.S., plus three more in other markets around the world. Despite that, the brand’s current focus seems to be on concept cars, with a brand-new one brought into the spotlight at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Called the GT-PHEV, where GT stands for "ground tourer," the new concept vehicle is described as a high-end next-generation SUV that easily takes many road surface conditions in its stride." This statement sounds as if Mitsubishi is planning to move toward the premium market with a new high-riding, people hauler, but until further information becomes available, the GT-PHEV is just another concept car in a long line of experimental vehicles that the Japanese brand has unveiled in recent years.

You see, Mitsubishi has launched more concepts than production cars since 2013. It all started with the XR-PHEV, which was followed by the more production-ready XR-PHEV II, the eX, and the GC-PHEV. The XR, GC, and GT are all hybrids, while the eX showcased an all-electric drivetrain. Looking at those concepts, Mitsubishi would have a comprehensive crossover lineup should all be approved for production, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, the company has the GT-PHEV to brag about and that’s the model we will analyze below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept.

Are Mitsubishi’s SUV Plans Finally Within Sight?

Debut of GT-PHEV Concept provides glimpse of next-generation Outlander

By now, most people in the industry know the running joke about Mitsubishi as the world’s foremost authority in building SUV concepts. The Japanese automaker has actually made it a specialty of sorts, if you can believe that. Since 2013, Mitsubishi has unveiled more concept SUVs than actual, real-life SUVs. There was the XR-PHEV, which actually gave way to a sequel concept, the XR-PHEV II. There was the EX, the GC-PHEV, and today at the Paris Motor Show, the GT-PHEV. At this point, an end-game for all of these Mitsubishi SUV concepts should be in sight, right?

Fortunately, there is. Mitsubishi’s long-term strategy has always been grounded on the objective of becoming a market leader in SUVs. Two of the aforementioned SUV concepts are expected to arrive in production form in the near future. The XR-PHEV II Concept, for instance, is reportedly set to arrive in 2017 as the Outlander Sport, while the production version of the eX Concept, will be packaged as a small crossover to rival the Nissan Juke. No timetable has been set for this model, but it is believed that this model is due for a production call-up when the Outlander Sport is released.

The GT-PHEV Concept that’s saying hello to the world in Paris is likely the long-term wait of the group. It’s been touted as a preview version of the next-generation Outlander, which isn’t expected to be released until 2018 at the earliest. The good news here is that the wheels are supposedly churning within Mitsubishi to finally bring these SUV concepts to life.

Last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Auctioned For $76k

The Lancer Evolution bids farewell while feeding the hungry

The very last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution produced in North America was auctioned for $76,000, the Japanese automaker revealed today. The car in question is a Final Edition version, which was launched for the 2015 model year with unique badging, a limited color palette, and a numbered plaque for each of the 1,600 examples. The proceeds from the auction will benefit Feeding America Riverside/San Bernardino and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, both of which are part of Feeding America, a non-profit, hunger-relief and food-rescue organization.

This was the second Lancer Evolution Final Edition auction for charity, with the previous one being the first example of the 1,600-unit production. The No. 1 car was used to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was sold off for $46,200. Together, the two performance sedans have raised a total of $122,600 for charity.

Introduced in 1992, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been discontinued in 2016 after 10 generations. The latest model featured a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 303 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The cars came equipped with all-wheel-drive, Bilstein and Eibach suspension components, and Brembo brakes.

Although there have been rumors of a successor in recent years, Mitsubishi said that the nameplate will not return anytime soon. However, the Japanese brand did say that it is exploring the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric motors. Most likely, Mitsubishi’s next performance sedan will be a hybrid.

Continue reading for the full story.


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