Lancer &
Lancer Evolution

Mitsubishi

A bona fide performance heritage

Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution

To this day the Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution - retired from the Mitsubishi lineup in 2017 and 2015, respectively - continue to garner attention from automotive enthusiasts everywhere.

Known as an affordable and dependable compact sedan, the sporty Lancer was loads of fun to drive. Meanwhile the Lancer Evolution, popular on the world rally scene, established itself as a performance workhorse that put other sportscars in its rearview mirror, and a smile on its drivers faces.

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Lancer FAQ

What kind of car was the Mitsubishi Lancer, and how was it different from the Lancer Evolution and Lancer Evolution X?

Does Mitsubishi still make the Lancer or Lancer Evolution?

Why did Mitsubishi discontinue the Lancer and Lancer Evolution?

Mitsubishi Lancer vs. Lancer Evolution FAQ

What engine was in the Lancer Evolution, and just how fast was it?

Mitsubishi Lancer Engine

Will Mitsubishi ever bring back the Lancer or Lancer Evolution?

Mitsubishi Lancer

Time-tested.
Road-proven.

The Mitsubishi Lancer - named after a soldier of the cavalry regiment in Europe's knightly age-debuted on the world stage in 1973.

Styled for superior aerodynamic drag and a robust monocoque chassis for increased performance, the very first Lancer was powered by engines using Mitsubishi Clean Air technology. It was the first 1973 model to be certified as having a low-pollution engine by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After nearly three decades and a successful run in Europe and Asia, the Lancer launched in the United States in 2001, powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 120 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque.

Original Mitsubishi Lancer on road during a race

Over the years Lancer's popularity grew as additional, more powerful trims and models - such as the Lancer GT, Lancer Ralliart, Lancer Sportback LS and Lancer Sportback Ralliart - were added to the line, bridging the gap between the Lancer's base model and its high-performance sibling: Lancer Evolution.

Slowly, however, market demand started shifting towards vehicles offering greater versatility and space, and cars with smaller environmental footprints. In 2017, Mitsubishi decided to stop production of the Lancer and shift its focus over to crossovers and SUVs, as well as electric and hybrid powertrains.

Today, Lancer's performance legacy continues to endure with Mitsubishi's versatile crossovers and efficient city cars.

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Mitsubishi Lancer parked on the road during a sunset

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Street Legend

The first Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was launched in 1992 - rally-bred from its inception.

To make it ultra-competitive, Mitsubishi took the lightweight Lancer, reduced its weight even further, increased body and suspension rigidity, and powered it with a 4G63-type intercooler turbo engine delivering torque through a 4WD system. The initial production run for racing certification sold out within days.

It wasn't until 2003, however - after honing its performance history over several generations in Europe and Asia - that the Lancer Evolution became available in the United States, promising a thrill ride like no other. By that time, due to the popularity of certain video games and appearances in several Hollywood movies, the Lancer Evolution already had quite the following.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution hitting a jump during a rally race

Each successive iteration of the car received new creative thinking: more power, more weight savings, brakes a little deeper, apex clipped a little tighter, built to come out of corners a little harder. Many Lancer Evolution features, like Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), were fined tuned and introduced to other Mitsubishi vehicles.

But all races must come to a stop. And in 2015, Mitsubishi announced the Lancer Evolution X - the tenth generation - would be its final one. To give it a special send-off, Mitsubishi decided to create a limited farewell edition: the Lancer Evolution FE. Individually numbered-and collectively desired - the Final Edition was backed by a 303 hp engine. It was the kind of performance that ate bigger, thirstier V6s for breakfast.

The end of an era? Not exactly. Mitsubishi is continuously working to incorporate its performance heritage into its crossover and electric vehicle segments. And the future promises to be as exciting as the past.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution shown on the street

Mitsubishi Lancer & Lancer Evolution timeline

  1. 1973

    Lancer's Big Debut

    The first-generation Lancer launches as a two and four door compact sedan in Europe and Asia. In Lancer's debut year, the Lancer 1600GSR dominates the Australian Southern Cross Rally with a First-Second-Third-place sweep, garnering Mitsubishi Motors' fourth Rally title overall.

  2. 1992

    Lancer Evolution: Born to Win

    The iconic Lancer Evolution launches in Europe and Asia, and goes on to win many World Rally Championship, track racing and hill climb titles.

  3. 1998

    WRC Championship

    Tommi Mäkinen wins a record four consecutive WRC Driver's Championships from 1996 to 1999, while Mitsubishi claims the WRC Manufacturer's Championship in 1998, all with multiple generations of the Lancer Evolution.

  4. 2001

    Lancer Arrives in America

    Styled with a rally racing-inspired design, the Lancer launches in the U.S. as a replacement for the Mirage. Three models are available: ES, LS, and O-Z® Rally, in either manual or automatic transmissions.

  5. 2003

    Lancer Evolution's American Debut

    The All-Wheel-Control equipped Lancer Evolution arrives in the United States, and is awarded Automobile magazine's 2003 Automobile of the Year.

  6. 2004

    New Models are added

    Choosing a new Lancer becomes a bit more challenging as the new Lancer Ralliart, Lancer Sportback LS and Lancer Sportback Ralliart are added to the Mitsubishi family.

  7. 2007

    Lancer Evolution X

    Lancer Evolution X - the last-generation model - launches with Super All-Wheel Control. Deemed one of the most advanced AWD systems in the world, it wins Car of the Year in Japan.

  8. 2015

    Confidence you can Count on

    Thanks to advanced high-tech engineering and safety features, the Mitsubishi Lancer is awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick - the highest safety award designation offered by the organization - for the seventh consecutive year.

  9. 2015

    One of a kind. Last of a kind.

    Mitsubishi announces the last - and limited - version of Lancer Evolution: The Lancer Evolution Final Edition. In the U.S. only 1600 are available, and the very first Evolution FE is auctioned off on eBay to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

  10. 2017

    Lancer Production Ends

    In August of 2017 production of the Mitsubishi Lancer ends, two years after the sunsetting of the iconic Lancer Evolution. The Mitsubishi Mirage remains to serve the demands of the small sedan market.

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The tradition continues

Explore Mitsubishi's current lineup of performance-oriented crossovers and smaller footprint vehicles.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Recommender