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The Mitsubishi Evo series will not continue into its eleventh model, says Gayu Eusegi, global product director. He may as well have kidnapped Santa, in the minds of rally fans everywhere.
“There is still a demand,” says Eusegi, “but we must stop.” Why? Because, he says, Mitsubishi will concentrate on smaller and more environmentally-friendly cars such as the Global Small Concept, the supermini that will compete against the Toyota Aygo. In addition, Mitsubishi is going all out on EV technology by introducing eight full electric or hybrid cars by 2015.
By cutting out their motorsport heritage, Eusegi said that customers would find it “easier to understand” what Mitsubishi was about. The company pulled out of the World Rally Championship in 2005, anyway, and there’s no room for big-winged dirt heroes in their continuous quest for lowering CO2. And yes, that means no diesel Evo, either.
So prepare yourselves for the end of an era: no more Tommi Mäkinen editions, no FQ400 models with turbochargers the size of cantaloupes, and no more need for Ralliart other than a nifty tire and wheel package. At least Subaru fans will rejoice that they’ve “won” this battle with the STI, though they’ll come around to the realization that fevered competition is better than no competition at all.