Mitsubishi isn’t saying it in so many words, but this car – shown as a concept at the Detroit motor show this month – is tipped to be a virtually production-ready Evo X (Evo 10) Lancer.
And the next Evo will be the most powerful it has built, the Japanese outfit said at the show car’s unveiling.
The car, described as an “almost-finished concept” for the next Evo, was badged the Prototype X and was displayed alongside the all-new Lancer saloon, which made its world debut at the show.
The new Lancer sedan, which has continuously variable transmission (CVT) as an option for the first time, goes on sale in some markets this March.
The Evo X will be on sale during the first half of 2008.
Prototype X is pretty much the Evo X, perhaps a slightly customised Evo X. Mitsubishi says the sheetmetal is the same as the final version, although some of the features on the concept car might not make it to the production model.
The Prototype X was fitted with an all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine based on the standard new Lancer’s aluminium 4B11 DOHC MIVEC engine and a new electronic all-wheel drive system called Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC).
The Prototype X also previewed a new automated manual transmission with paddle shift levers.
The drivetrain also combines an Active Centre Differential (ACD) with an Active Yaw Control (AYC) rear differential and Active Skid Control (ASC), which is designed to make the car more useable in everyday driving without compromising performance.
Prototype X and the upcoming Lancer Evo are built on an all-new performance-engineered global platform, dubbed “Project Global”, that debuted with the 2007 Outlander SUV.
Mitsubishi says the next Evo’s shark-nosed front end was inspired by jet fighter air intakes, and will have a distinct wedge-like profile.
Prototype X has boxed wheelarches, and aggressively sloping bonnet with integral air scoop, and rides on 20-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the deeply contoured bucket seats are upholstered in high-grip suede-like material. An electronic lap counter hints at the car’s weekend club racer capability.