LANCER & LANCER EVOLUTION
A bona fide performance heritage
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.
The Lancer Is no Longer in Production
But its legacy lives on through the passion of our drivers and our innovative, ambitious lineup. Sign up to our newsletter for more exciting, exclusive Mitsubishi content, blogs and updates.
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.
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.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
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.
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 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.
Mitsubishi Lancer Timeline
Lancer's Big Debut
Lancer Evolution: Born to Win
The Tradition Continues
Explore Mitsubishi's current lineup of performance-oriented crossovers and smaller footprint vehicles.
Subscribe For More Unmissable Mitsubishi Content
Loving our history blogs? Sign up to our newsletter and stay tuned for regular updates, delivered straight to your inbox.SIGN UP