Mitsubishi Motors Adds to its Lineup
Mitsubishi Motors has been in a state of exploration as the automaker finds itself. Although everyone, including shareholders, were expecting a return of the Lancer EVO, or even just a sports car, the automaker has made it very clear that all sights are on EV development. During the latest shareholder meeting, Mitsubishi Motors didn’t pull any punches. Electric Vehicle (EV) development is at the forefront for the automaker, and with all resources going towards that, the automaker needs a little help keeping internal combustion engine vehicles in the spotlight – Enter Renault and Nissan, with new rebadged Mitsubishi vehicles.
It’s true. Mitsubishi Motors is focused on EV development, which means we won’t be seeing the return of a sports car anytime soon. Even with the resurrection of Ralliart, the high-performance group of Mitsubishi, much like Dodge//SRT, and the release of the once cancelled Starion 4WD, the automaker made it clear that a sports car is not happening. Mitsubishi is solely focused on EV development. That may be why the automaker decided to stop selling in Europe.
Well, that’s not completely true. Mitsubishi Motors didn’t stop selling on the European market as a whole. Instead, Mitsubishi is pulling vehicles from the UK market, while still selling in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. While it does so, the automaker will be looking at electrifying its lineup and releasing a new EV model. We just have no clue what that is at the moment.
While Mitsubishi Motors works on the EV in the lineup, the automaker is already looking at a new flagship model for the brand. What is a flagship model? It’s basically the car an automaker is known for. Chevrolet has the Corvette, Dodge has the Challenger, and Chrysler has the Pacifica. What does Mitsubishi have? The 2022 Outlander is sure a winner, but it doesn’t represent the electric or hybrid crowd at all. That’s why Mitsubishi is releasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) as its new flagship model, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV.
It’s funny. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at first received mixed reviews. The original Mitsubishi Eclipse first experienced an outcry from fans of the automaker’s rally days. When Mitsubishi first introduced itself to the US, it was purely a rally car race competitor, but that’s what gained the automaker popularity. So much so, that before Mitsubishi entered the North American market, their first vehicle was sold under the guise of the Dodge Dart. That’s right – anyone out there driving a Dodge Dart is behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi sedan rebadged by Dodge. So of course, consumers were a little bothered by the return of the sports car as a crossover.
Or at least, that was the initial response. Year-after-year, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross continues to surpass expectations. Perhaps all the race fans grow old and want to start a family – a rally-inspired SUV would be perfect for that. But for those dedicated to performance, there is no need to fear. More than once, Mitsubishi has called its next concept a high-performance SUV. But if you don’t believe in that, Renault and Nissan are giving Mitsubishi a helping hand. Not only is Renault helping Mitsubishi ground itself in the European market, but Nissan is also joining the fray to expand its internal combustion side of the brand while Mitsubishi focuses on EV development, offering to release models rebranded by Mitsubishi.
With the Eclipse Cross PHEV taking over as the new icon for Mitsubishi Motors, it’s clear there is more to this crossover that initially thought. You can check it out with a test drive of the Eclipse Cross at University Mitsubishi.