Is Mitsubishi Motors Reviving Ralliart?
Mitsubishi Motors has been quiet about any new concepts or models coming to the lineup. Save for promotions surrounding the newly refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, and the continuation of the Outlander PHEV, the automaker hasn’t commented on any plans to revive the Mitsubishi Lancer as a crossover, or at all. Pushing the market reach forward for Mitsubishi, the automaker will be adding two models to its lineup, rebadged versions of Renault vehicles. With the recent auction for the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO Tommi Makinen Edition in Europe, setting a record of £100,100, it’s clear fans of the rally cars are still waiting for a return. A recent source at Forbes learned about the revival of the Mitsubishi Ralliart brand, but it might not be what consumers hope for.
What is Ralliart?
Dodge isn’t the only automaker that has its own division dedicated solely to high performance on the street and the race track. Ralliart was the motorsports division of Mitsubishi Motors, focused on the development of rally racing and off-road racing vehicles. Moreover, Ralliart developed high-performance models and parts that were made available to the public – another company comes to mind, one with catalogs of aftermarket accessories for modifying muscle cars, pickup trucks, and off-road monsters.
It makes sense that Mitsubishi would have its own department for racing, given the automaker’s history of breaking out on American soil with rally cars. Dating back to 1962, Mitsubishi Motors was known for the Mitsubishi 500 Super Deluxe that set a track record. Some fans may remember the Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution series, the same that gave rise to the Tommi Makinen Edition mentioned above. Mitsubishi Motors’ Ralliart produced a version of the Lancer with all-wheel drive in the U.S. from 2009 to 2014 that was the perfect balance between the normal Lancer and its Evolution high-performance counterpart.
Bringing that back to the automaker, especially during a time when plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are on the agenda? Could it be the revival of the Mitsubishi e-Evolution, the Mitsubishi high-performance electric vehicle concept from years past? If the revival of Ralliart creates a new division, perhaps vehicles already in the lineup may be affected, with racing-tuned versions released. Could a Ralliart Eclipse Cross relive its glory days? Or the revival of Ralliart may be more like an aftermarket custom auto parts manufacturer.
Based on recent materials from the automaker, seen below, it seems that the lineup will continue to consist solely of SUVs and the Triton pickup truck. At the same time, there are possibly several completely new models on the board, two of which are labeled as the “realization of MMC-ness”. Basically, Mitsubishi Motors Corp is taking the automotive brand into a new direction, and two new vehicles may set the standard for future vehicles to come. One of these models looks much smaller than vehicles we’re used to, almost like a hatchback. Although the two Ralliart brand images show a pickup truck as the only complete prototype, don’t give up hope just yet.
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