Like you, we’ve heard it over and over again, about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution’s eventual demise into the pages of history for good, which for the car enthusiast crowd, has been the equivalent to beating a dead horse, at least, a near-dead one.
And to make sure we haven’t forgotten, Mitsubishi’s CEO, Osamu Masuko, spoke to AutoCar in the UK to once again confirm the eventual death of the Lancer Evolution…for…eh…ver.
This was signified by the introduction of the “Final Edition” Lancer Evolution and by Mitsubishi’s claims of shifting focus from performance cars to plug-in hybrid SUVs, an EVs, all the sort of boring stuff. But now that Mitsubishi’s signature halo car is on its way out, how do they plan to rank cool among the consumer if the one car that made them cool in the first place within the last decade is put to rest?
Now, the push for EVs and hybrids might seem OK and all, given the climate of the automobile industry has drastically shifted to EV and hybrid technology and its standardization. But one thing that perplexes us is Mitsubishi’s belief that the lack of a halo car, their Lancer Evolution, is healthy for the brand’s perception. We say this since halo cars are extremely important for an automaker’s reputation, because without a signature model to act as a pinnacle, a sort of poster child for the automaker to prove what they’re truly capable of when they put all their efforts forward in the name of performance, how could an automaker be cool?
Halo cars help shape an automaker’s reputation by making them cool because they grab the attention of both the unsuspecting buyer and diehard car fans–their general audience. Yea, Volkswagen has a cool factor because they produce the Bugatti Veyron under their massive corporate portfolio. Ford is cool because they produce the Mustang and the GT. Chevy’s cool because they produce the Camaro and the Corvette. You get the idea… In fact, Mitsubishi was cool too, when they produced halo cars like the Starion, the 3000GT, and even the Eclipse. Let’s also not forget the range of sport VR-4 models as well.
Coolness is a huge selling factor that transcends into other models, especially when appealing to the younger generation. Just as another example, Honda certainly has its cool factor with its mainstream models because, well, they all come from the company who made amazing halo cars like the NSX and the S2000, both of which are signature models for the brand and ones that help Honda rank up in the cool factor among the buying public.
Though without Mitsubishi having anything as a shape-shifting example as to what the automaker is capable of in the name of performance and coolness, how do they even plan to be successful if there’s nothing out there to grab the attention of the consumer in the first place?
All we can say is the future proves to be bleak for Mitsubishi.
– By: Chris Chin