No more fire-breathing rally-racers, only zero-emission eco-cars from now on.
Ditching the boy racer image of the Lancer Evolution cars, Mitsubishi has shocked the car industry by canning the four-wheel drive, turbo-boosted fuel-guzzling Evo cars and will concentrate on electric vehicles in the future.
Mitsubishi has always taken on Subaru’s Impreza since the mid-90s, in producing the latest, maddest, rally-winning cars. But it is now putting its rallying heritage firmly back in the cupboard to focus on hybrid and pure electric cars. The company has announced that by 2015 it will have released eight new eco-cars.
The company’s global director, Gayu Eusegi, said in a recent statement: “There is still a demand for the Evo, but we must stop and focus on EV technology”, which is indication that the pressures of global warming and stringent laws on emissions have reached huge levels.
The company wants to shrug off being known for fairly boring saloon cars mixed with banzai-mad Evo cars. Instead it wants to be known for taking steps forward in the electric vehicle industry. Mitsubishi is aware that eco-cars can look a little tame and will no doubt look towards creating a fun and appealing electric car.
The Evolution cars do not fit in with this new mantra to increase environmentally-friendly technology and cut CO2 emissions. Yet the manufacturer plans to ditch the highly-tuned race-bred engines for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. Eusegi added that removing the Evolution cars completely will show that Mitsubishi is serious about the change in the company’s direction.
With the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG e-cell and the Tesla Roadster offering quick electric cars, and the Rolls-Royce Phantom now available with battery power, there is no reason why Mitsubishi can’t offer a luxury or sports model. Eusegi added: “In the future, there might well be electric racing cars and that would mean we could re-enter the market”. So there’s hope of seeing Ralliart-liveried cars in the future.
Having already shown off its Global Concept Small car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, it seems as if Mitsubishi will be focusing on smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic cars to aid with the electric battery power. The sleek shape of the new model and the i-MiEV shows that the company is downsizing the packaging of their vehicles and really making a go for it in the electric vehicle world.
With the battery power of the Global Concept Small can be charged from flat to 80 per cent of its total power in just 30 minutes, the company is already making headlines in electrically-powered vehicle circles. Other electric cars take at least 6 to 8 hours to recharge to that level.
With lighter cars and more simple components, Mitsubishi electric cars will benefit from either a longer range or shorter charging times than the vehicles of competitors. The i-MiEV is a little small for many people, but the new Global Concept Small is around the size of a Renault Megane, and not only looks great but it has the range and the low recharging time similar to the dinky i-MiEV.