One of the most popular model names in Mitsubishi history is the Lancer, a compact model known for spawning performance Ralliart and Evolution versions. However, this time the Lancer will take on a new body style as a crossover utility vehicle, a move that is not without controversy.
Here is what we know about the proposed Mitsubishi Lancer and why it could become the surprise hit for current Lancer owners:
1. The new model is not what you think it might be. Think “crossover” and you may expect a model much like the current Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Then again, if you have seen the new Eclipse Cross, you know that there is something more to crossovers than a traditional SUV style. Indeed, we have seen what manufacturers such as Nissan (Juke) and Toyota (C-HR) have done for the segment. There is even a stronger possibility the new Mitsubishi will turn the segment on its head with a model with crossover underpinnings, but with a rakish body.
2. Mitsubishi will have some help. Since late 2015, Mitsubishi has been part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, now the world’s largest car manufacturer. The alliance is strong, expanding and has platforms, drivetrains and powertrains available. We cannot say for certain exactly how Mitsubishi will benefit from this unique partnership other than to say that they will. With the world’s largest manufacturer behind you, the future is bright for Mitsubishi in general and for the Lancer crossover specifically.
3. A hybrid is possible. Vehicle electrification continues to grow and hybrids are the most popular version of EVs. Hybrids are popular because they utilize two sources of power — gas and electricity — and this means you have no worry about range anxiety. Nissan is a leader in vehicle electrification with the pure electric Leaf, but both Renault and Nissan are heavily invested in hybrids. We think Mitsubishi will use at least a mild hybrid system, one with an electric motor that powers some components, such as the doors, windows, center console and audio system. A plug-in hybrid would be another option, enabling you to connect to a power source and drive on electric-only power for at least 30 miles.
4. All-wheel drive is back. One of the appeals of the Lancer Evo was its all-wheel-drive system, what supplied exceptional handling, especially as you pull out of turns. It was an edge that Evo fans had over most other models, which is how Lancer won so many races. A hybrid system is a quick and easy way to send power to the rear wheels and that is one option we see here. We also know that the all-wheel-drive system in the Eclipse Cross can easily be moved to a new Lancer product and that seems like the primary way this would happen.
Right now, the details surrounding a new Lancer crossover are scant. We can only rely on the company’s announcements and cull through respectable journals to find information about the vehicle. Regardless, we think the new model has promise, especially with the right combination of drivetrains and powertrains present.
Westside Mitsubishi Edmonton
If you are shopping for a new or used Mitsubishi, please give West Side Mitsubishi in Edmonton a visit. We have a large inventory of models, including those from competing brands. We are the trusted source in Alberta for all your car shopping needs.