New online dealer system joins futuristic e-Evolution concept that previews the next generation of Mitsubishis
IT’S an Evo, Jim, but not as we know it.
The once sleepy Japanese giant, Mitsubishi, is most certainly evolving.
And having recently joined forces with Renault and Nissan, the new alliance, with Mitsubishi, forms the biggest car company in the world worth a staggering $10bn.
Now Mitsubishi has pulled the wraps off its new online dealer that’ll allow you to order a car from the comfort of your sofa.
You can even organise a trade-in price for your old motor and get the new car delivered to your driveway without ever having to speak to a salesman.
However, there’s one model you can’t get your hands on yet – the e-Evolution concept.
This Evolution is a timely reminder of what made Mitsubishi so important in the first place.
To a grieving fanbase, the cult car that was the Lancer Evolution was dropped from the line-up in 2015 during a financial rocky patch.
But what the e-Evolution Concept represents right now isn’t, unfortunately, a production car but a technological prototype, built and designed to evolve, generation after generation.
As Vice President Vincent Cobee explains, “It’s what we want to achieve. But if you all vote we should actually make this car, then, well…”
The Frenchman joked with us, “Or it could be yours for a $3million cheque.”
The e-Evolution Concept joins a bunch of hot new Japanese electric performance cars at this year’s Tokyo show bringing some much-needed sexy, and speed, back to the somewhat sober EV scene.
But Evolution purists may struggle with the legendary nameplate being associated with an SUV – and a 100 per cent electric one at that.
While no official performance figures were released, THREE high-power motors – two in the back and one in the front – deliver the trademark Super All-Wheel Drive.
And the battery is located in the middle under the floor to improve the centre of gravity – clearly indicating superior performance is top priority here.
With the Outlander PHEV – the UK’s biggest selling plug-in electric hybrid for the last four years and counting – Mitsubishi has been at the forefront of real-world, new-gen powertrains for some time.
So this development is an Evolution in more ways than one.
It’s a little know fact but the first EV passenger car they developed was in 1971 and the first mass-produced one was in 2009 – the iMiEV.
Artificial intelligence also features in Mitsubishi’s revitalized electric dream with a system in the Evo specifically designed to help the driver get better – and faster – behind the wheel.
The coaching function will study the driver and identify where improvements can be made – so you don’t need to bring previous rally experience to the Evo party anymore to get the most out of the experience.
The SUV features HUGE wheels, fully glazed ‘dynamic shield’ grille, floating roof, short overhangs and a squared-off rear end that’s as unique as it is lustworthy.
Pop open the suicide doors and spacious, clean-lined interior boasts a display spanning the width of the dashboard with side screens for every conceivable camera angle.
Mitsubishi has been banging out cars for 100 years now – but as Vincent Cobee puts it: “It’s no secret the next five years will be very interesting indeed.”
The start of that will be the new online dealer which follows Hyundai, Peugeot and DS with new ways to buy a car.
Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi, said: “Consumers are increasingly looking to the internet to complete all kinds of purchases and while the vast majority of car buyers enjoy the experience of a traditional showroom environment, there is a marked growth in those that desire the convenience of an internet transaction when considering their new car.”