The Subaru WRX STI might wanna watch its back because its former archrival might be preparing to make a return. According to a report by Autocar citing "Japanese-based sources," Mitsubishi may be planning to revive the Lancer Evolution.
A future Evo XI would apparently take advantage of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and borrow an engine from Renault Sport's next-generation Mégane R.S. hot hatch. Specifically, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo producing around 336 horsepower mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission and Mitsubishi's own S-AWC all-wheel drive. The report also says the next Evolution would sit on a version of the alliance's CMF-C/D platform, which is related to the architecture found underneath—among other vehicles—Nissan's Rogue and Rogue Sport as well as the Infiniti QX50.
Back in the '90s spanning to the mid-2000s, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was largely known as the Coca-Cola to the Subaru Impreza WRX STI's Pepsi with its rally-derived all-wheel drive, high-horsepower turbo 2.0 liters—and of course—massive rear wings. It was even a hero car for not one, but two Fast & Furious movies.
The Evolution X debuted in 2007 and never received a significant update after that, ultimately going out of production in 2016.
Since the Evo's departure, the sport compact landscape has changed. If Mitsu's iconic rally-car-for-the-street ever does come back, it must contend with stuff like the Ford Focus RS, VW's Golf R, and the Honda Civic Type R as well as the obvious Subaru.
This remains a rumor for now and until the company is spotted running around in some suspiciously big-winged test mules, we're gonna go ahead and file this under "we'll believe it when we see it."
When asked whether the rumor held any merit, a Mitsubishi spokesperson told The Drive in an email: "We do not comment on speculation."