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Mitsubishi wants Evolution model, Triton Ralliart
Performance-focused Evolution model, Triton Ralliart pair on Mitsubishi radar
10 Jul 2018
MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has expressed its interest in the return of the Evolution nameplate, potentially with a production version of the battery-electric e-Evolution SUV concept, as well as a possible Triton Ralliart performance pick-up.
Speaking to GoAuto this week at the official opening of the world-first Alliance National Distribution Centre in Truganina, Victoria, MMAL president and chief executive officer John Signoriello was enthusiastic about the prospect of a successor to the discontinued Lancer Evolution X sedan.
“You tell me who would not want to see an Evolution of any sort come out. You’re not a motoring enthusiast if you don’t want to see one. You need to want to see one,” he said.
“Going forward, we’ve seen the concept e-Evolution, and let’s see what happens. What we’re working on (in Japan) is what we’re working on. Anything can happen.
“I think right now our main focus is SUV, LCV. To get into that space, we’re going in a – not a different direction – but complementing what we’ve got.
“Right now our strategy’s working. Are we ready to take that leap? I think … the mid-term plan is what it is, so it might be a mid- to longer-term strategy, but definitely in the short term we’ve got what we’ve got.”
When questioned if a potential Evolution model could follow the e-Evolution concept’s lead and take the form of an SUV, Mr Signiorello explained that anything is possible.
“Time will tell … we don’t get that involved in on what the longer-term product plans (become),” he said.
“We would love to see something, everyone would love to see something in that space. It’s an iconic vehicle for Mitsubishi, so let’s see what happens.”
Revealed at the Tokyo motor show in October last year, the e-Evolution concept featured a Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system with electronically controlled torque vectoring, one front- and two rear-axle “high-performance” electric motors, and an underfloor battery pack.
As such, if a production model were to eventuate, it is expected to deviate from the all-wheel-drive Lancer Evolution X’s formula, which saw a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine develop 226kW of power and 414Nm of torque in its Final Edition form.
Meanwhile,a performance-focused Ralliart version of the Triton may also be on its way to Mitsubishi showrooms soon, with Mr Signoriello open to seeing such an enthusiast-friendly model when asked.
“We’ll have to wait and see. We run a car company, and there’s a lot of motor-heads in the car company. Let’s see what happens,” he said.
“At this stage, we’ve got what we got. We would like to see something (like that) going forward, but let’s see what comes out.”
If a Triton Ralliart were to materialise, it would likely go toe to toe with the 157kW/500Nm Ford Ranger Raptor, 147kW/500Nm HSV Colorado SportsCat and 130kW/450Nm Toyota HiLux Rugged X, among others.
It remains to be seen if a Triton Ralliart would, unlike its aforementioned rivals, employ a more potent turbo-diesel powerplant. For reference, regular Triton variants use a 2.3-litre unit that produces 133kW and 430Nm.
However, it seems likely that a Triton Ralliant would, at the very least, up the ante with a rugged bodykit and longer list of off-road equipment that would help justify its expected premium.
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