It looks like Mitsubishi will be resurrecting the Evolution badge or “Evo,” as the Japanese carmaker is set to unveil a new study -- the e-Evolution Concept – at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan. However, the concept bearing the Evolution name isn't a sports sedan, but an all-electric performance sports utility vehicle.
The Evolution had been the official designation for the sporty version of the Mitsubishi Lancer compact sedan. The Lancer Evolution lasted only until the tenth generation, with production now totally ceased. But as early as March 2014, Mitsubishi issued a press release saying that while the Evolution, a high-performance four-wheel drive sedan, won't have a successor, the carmaker would explore the possibilities of creating high-performance models with electric vehicle technology. Mitsubishi did explore, and the result is the new Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept.
According to Mitsubishi, the e-Evolution Concept is a technical prototype that combines the strengths of an SUV and an EV, as well as the ability to integrate new systems to allow for a connected mobility customer experience. The carmaker added that the e-Evolution Concept embodies the brand’s new strategic directions under its "Drive your Ambition" strategy.
The new e-Evolution Concept demonstrates the carmaker’s new design philosophy, which it named "Robust & Ingenious." Under this new design philosophy, future Mitsubishi vehicles will not just be sincere, tough and functional, but they will also be stylish, smart, resourceful and technologically advanced.
As designed, the e-Evolution Concept offers superior 4WD control and the agility of high-performance cross-country tourer. Up front, the study features a fresh take on the brand’s Dynamic Shield design. The black grille is covered by glass, thereby hinting at its nature as a high performance EV. The glass also covers the study’s cameras and sensors, as indicated by the blue lines. Just below the headlamps are large air intakes that send cooling air to the electric brake calipers.
When viewed from the sides, the e-Evolution Concept reveals a slanted front windshield, short overhangs, high ground clearance, strong shoulders and narrow hips, as made possible by the study’s electric powertrain. The side profile also reveals large tires as well as bars running the full length of the roof. On the rear, the e-Evolution Concept features a large hexagon shape inspired by the spare tire cover of the iconic Mitsubishi Pajero.
Thanks to the fact that it has no internal combustion engine, the e-Evolution Concept is able to offer a spacious interior. It comes with a seemingly floating instrument panel with the carmaker’s hallmark horizontal styling, which makes it easier for the driver to sense the state of the vehicle while driving. The dashboard features a large full-width flat screen as flanked by two smaller screens.
The Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept is powered by three high-torque, high-performance electric motors, which source its energy from a high-capacity battery system located under the floor mid-ship of the study. This configuration gives the e-Evolution Concept a low center of gravity for a stable drive. This stability is complemented by a 4WD system, which benefits from three electric motors. An electric motor drives the front wheels while the two motors manage the rear wheels. The vehicle makes use of Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system for traction performance as well as brakes with electric calipers for supreme stopping power.
Mitsubishi has fitted the e-Evolution Concept with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that employs an array of sensors to augment the driver in controlling the vehicle while enhancing his or her driving experience and expertise.