New Mitsubishi Evolution XI Is Merely Wishful Thinking, But It Would Be Great for the US

Mitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonik 6 photos
Photo: kelsonik / Instagram
Mitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonikMitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonikMitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonikMitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonikMitsubishi Evolution XI rendering by kelsonik
There was a time when Subaru and Mitsubishi mattered in the hearts and minds of many more automotive fans – not just those enamored with the former's symmetrical AWD or the latter's cheap cars and CUVs. Back then, the Impreza WRX STi and Lancer Evolution ruled the streets and rally stages.
But unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today, Subaru is preoccupied chiefly with adventurous SUVs like the 2023 Forester, Ascent, Solterra (EV), or the 2024 Outback and Crosstrek. Meanwhile, their cars look like it's the 1980s all over again, whether we are discussing the $19,795 2023MY Impreza or the 2024 Legacy, which kicks off at less than $25k. As for the performance roster, just having the small and nimble 2023 BRZ (starts at $28,595) or the 2023 WRX ($30,605) is probably nowhere near enough to satisfy JDM-style sports car enthusiasts.

After all, the former is merely an entry-level project shared with Toyota's GR86, and the latter's second standalone generation was met with lackluster approval from the WRX STi crowd. Sorry about mentioning Subaru in a Mitsubishi discussion, but when it comes to musing about the Lancer Evolution series, I feel you can't have one without mentioning the other. So, now we refocus on Mitsu, a Japanese carmaker that is but a pale shadow of its former self. And that is a severe understatement.

In Europe, it has become akin to a Chinese knock-off brand featuring Renault models, and in America, there are just six models in the range (Mirage, Mirage G4, Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross, Outlander, and Outlander PHEV), and probably none of them is worth writing home about it. Sure, the Outlander PHEV is a refined crossover SUV by a measure of ratings – including the IIHS Top Safety Pick choice – but it's also surely incapable of hero duties. In fact, it is pretty clear to anyone that Mitsubishi needs a flagship model of any kind to prevent it from sinking into market oblivion.

Naturally, many automotive enthusiasts feel that a return of the storied Lancer Evolution nameplate could do the trick. If not in the real world, then at least across the imaginative realm of digital car content creators, that is. So, meet Nikita Chuicko, the virtual artist better known as kelsonik on social media, who thinks now is the right CGI time to (again) fiddle with the EVO XI revival. Following his recent yellow attempt at greatness – that was showcased both from the front and rear, now the pixel master has remastered the front fascia (especially the headlights) to make it even more aggressive.

So, what do you think? Could it survive in the current hype climate toward crossovers, SUVs, and trucks? Also, do remember that the shrinking US passenger car market is potentially saturated (already) with compact sports cars like the Toyota GR Corolla and VW Golf R hot hatchbacks, the Hyundai Elantra N sedan, or the premium alternatives from Cadillac (CT4-V) and Acura (Integra Type S), among others.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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