Take a seat all C-segment crossovers, Mitsubishi has something special in store for you. The Japanese firm has revealed its plans to reignite the Lancer name as "a funky C-segment crossover that will rival everything from the Ford Focus to Toyota’s C-HR," according to Auto Express.
Mitsubishi's Alliance with the likes of Renault and Nissan has given the brand the injection it needed for some pretty impressive growth recently. Now the company has aimed its crosshairs at a new generation of both a small car and the Lancer SUV, with the firm’s boss, Briton Trevor Mann, and chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto leading the charge.
In an exclusive chat with Auto Express, Mann revealed that "the direction of the Lancer is close to being finalised".
“We have a long-range product plan that’s pretty solid until 2025, and a dotted line beyond that,” he explained. “Within that what we’ve said is, ‘Which vehicles do we want? What are we going to work on?’ We’re going to replace ASX, Outlander and Triton [the L200 pick-up]. Then we have these two boxes: Pajero and Lancer.
“Lancer’s probably the easiest one; we believe we’ve got a solution that could fit the segment. Because if you look globally, the C-segment hatchback [Golf and Focus] market is not shrinking. It’s down a bit in the US and Europe. But its numbers are still expanding in China. So there is appeal. And I think because the segment is so large globally, we’ve got to take a look at it.”
At last year’s Tokyo show, the e-Evolution (see the gallery) that was displayed is ideal for a smaller vehicle, says Kunimoto regarding the design direction.
“Just because it’s C-segment doesn’t mean it has to be a very conventional hatchback.
“Maybe we can create a new type of hatchback vehicle. We’re thinking quite radically. Originality is as much a part of the Mitsubishi design philosophy now as consistency,” he added.
It is suspected that the Lancer's crossover shape, potential four-wheel drive and Mitsubishi’s hybrid systems will ride on the latest evolution of the CMF C/D platform that all the Alliance brands are currently collaborating on.
We like the new direction, what do you think of the Lancer becoming a C-segment crossover? Leave us a comment below.
Image credit: Avarvarii