Rumor on the street has it that Mitsubishi is bringing back the Lancer, a name used on its compact sedan for over 40 years, as a crossover. The idea is perhaps not as egregious as the Eclipse Cross, as the Lancer did famously have some dirt throwing AWD versions, but still.
The Lancer name first appeared in 1973 on a simple but rugged compact sedan in Mitsubishi Motors’ lineup. Without minimal modifications for safety, Mitsubishi sent it into some of the world’s toughest races, like the East African Safari Rally, where it won outright twice.
Though ten iterations of top-spec Lancer Evolution models were the most enthusiast oriented, the standard-issue Lancer nameplate existed continuously for 44 years. Last year, the Lancer name was finally retired in the US (in some Asian countries, a facelifted version continued to be sold as the Grand Lancer).
Less than a year since the name was put to rest, however, comes talk of a revival. The news comes straight from Mitsubishi Motors COO Trevor Mann, who told AutoExpress that the Lancer would now become a C-segment crossover, a category that includes cars like the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Rogue Sport (Qashqai).
Designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto said the design would take after the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, adding that “maybe we can create a new type of hatchback vehicle.”
Opinion among the JNC staff is mixed about the name change. Editor -at-Large Ricky Silverio and ex-Galant VR-4 owner called it “a great progressive move by Mitsubishi,” while our Touge California Rallymaster and Mitsubishi Diamante enthusiast Patrick Strong was less of a fan, saying, “Fucking of course it is.”
If the new Lancer Cross or whatever it’s called can pull off a feat like the original did when it won the Safari rally in 1974, though, all can be forgiven.
Images courtesy of Mitsubishi.
I’m seeing a pattern here…
Move over Pontiac Aztek, there’s a new Champion of Ugly™
Revive it as the Montero or Pajero or you know, another well known name…but then again, the 95% of the market does not know the history of the Lancer. But I can definitely see Mitsu pushing out PHEVs. It’s just odd to see a Lancer CUV. Never would have thought about it but then again, it makes sense to the people who are new to Mitsubishi’s line of vehicles.
Give it bigger windows and smaller wheels; ideally it should be possible to take a wheel off and put it on either the front or back seat through the (open) window without opening the door.
Good move, but I am wondering where it would fit in the line up? Between the ASX/Outlander Sport and Eclipse Cross? Or would it be something different? More sporty?
Love the chopped roof! Wheel size too big. Give us a real Lancer/Evo! Stop killing your rally reputation! Famous seller cars of yours all going to a for of CUV, or SUV? Dayum…
The Lancer name also appeared in 1958 on the Austin Lancer, which was made in Australia
Geez, come on. What you see is a show car, not even close to what a production car will be.
Sorry dudes, the world is moving towards crossovers and SUVs, Ford is dropping cars from North America excerpt for the Mustang.
So what if Mitsubishi uses Lancer? Would you get your panties in a bunch if they called it a Tredia or a Cordia? I know! Meet the Starion Crosscoupe! ?