The hope is that the Mitsubishi “Lancer” name and ethos will live on with the underpinnings of a Renault.
Renault-Nissan Alliance now includes Mitsubishi and that’s probably a very good thing for all companies involved. Mitsubishi has had a rough go of things in the last few years, and Nissan’s takeover of controlling stake of the company will only make its offerings better.
Mitsubishi is currently under a transformation, adding new vehicles to its lineup. Crossovers and SUVs will help bolster sales for the brand. The addition of vehicles like the Eclipse Cross could help the company regain some of the ground it has lost in recent years in the U.S.
According to GoAuto, an Australian automotive website, Mitsubishi may be adding new crossovers to its lineup, but it’s not finished with cars, and when it comes to Mitsubishi the Lancer is the best car it makes.
A New Lancer for an Ailing Market
Trevor Mann, who is Mitsubishi’s COO, and Vincent Cobee, VP of product strategy, told GoAuto that passenger cars still make up a big part of the market, and the auto maker wants to compete in that market.
"“I know all of you guys write about the growth and emergence of SUVs and it’s correct, its 35-37 per cent of the total market today, and it’s still growing. But that doesn’t eradicate the fact that there will be 40-50 million cars that will be traditional passenger cars,” said Cobee."
The Lancer was brought up as a possibility by Mann and he said that it may transition to a Renault platform in the future. The next Mitsubishi Mirage will likely transition to the Renault-Nissan Alliance platform known as the CMF-B, and Mann said that the next Lancer could be built on that platform as well.
Will the Lancer Return to Its Former Glory?
A Lancer built on a Renault platform doesn’t sound like a bad idea, and if Mitsubishi were able to put out a quality car, I could see it being a hit with consumers.
Most people remember the Lancer name, and many people (enthusiasts mostly) swoon every time someone brings up the all-wheel-drive sports sedan monster that was the EVO. Making a new EVO with the CMT-B platform probably isn’t the way to make boatloads of sales, but it would certainly be a way for Mitsubishi to grab tons of press and jumpstart some buzz about its new offerings.
What the company will probably do is roll out a good but not great sedan based on the CMT-B platform. I would love to see it be an awesome all-wheel-drive Subaru-WRX-challenging rally car, but I just don’t think Mitsubishi has the gall to do it.
It will be interesting to see where Mitsubishi goes with the Lancer. I hope it’s part of the company’s future lineup. Judging by the current offerings a Renault-based Lancer might be the best car the auto maker could hope to sell.