When Mitsubishi announced the revival of the Ralliart brand in Japan in May, there's a faint spark of hope for another revival – the Lancer Evolution nameplate. While the return of Ralliart is mainly about the development of genuine accessories and cosmetic packages for its models, MMC CEO Takao Kato mentioned that the Japanese marque is also considering involvement in motorsports.
However, Japan's Response reported that the Lancer Evolution isn't happening – or at least it isn't in the cards just yet.
Gallery: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition #0001
The shootdown was from Kato himself, who said that he wants to do it but the company needs to be back on its feet first. In his words (via Google Translate), "The company is still not strong enough."
In addition, MMC shareholders are actually requesting the return of the Lancer Evolution nameplate, according to the report. A bit surprising, considering that shareholders usually care about profit rather than the company's image, but we think we can all agree that a halo sports car would be instrumental to the company's effort to bring back the Mitsubishi-ness of its cars.
It goes without saying that electrification – and its expensive development – plays a huge role in Mitsubishi's decision to not prioritise the Lancer Evolution's return. Mitsubishi is also relatively strong in terms of hybrid vehicles and off-road machines, and Kato is keen to capitalise on that front to bring the company back on its feet.
Of note, Mitsubishi has been struggling as a company. The Diamond brand is realigning its lineup as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and will be focusing its efforts on the ASEAN region. Then again, never say never. We might just need a little more patience before we could see the return of the Evo nameplate.