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2023 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI shapes up! New Subaru WRX STI rival imagined – but is a different electric Evolution on the way instead?

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Mitsubishi has been open about its intentions to have a high-performance future, and now we’ve been given our best look yet at what it could look like: the eagerly anticipated Lancer Evo XI.

The unofficial renderings you see here come courtesy of automotive designer Enoch Gonzales, who has imagined what a Lancer Evo X1 could look like. Needless to say, it has shaped up a formidable foe for the all-conquering Subaru WRX STI.

Of course, the preceding Lancer Evo X was discontinued in May 2016, bringing an end to the famous Evolution series after 10 generations. However, an 11th is currently in the works – if an Autocar report from June 2019 is to be believed.

The UK publication claimed the supposed Lancer Evo XI would share its CMF-C/D platform with the next-generation Megane RS hot hatch, which still makes a lot of sense given Mitsubishi and Renault make up two-thirds of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Autocar also said the alleged Lancer Evo XI was due around 2022 and would be motivated by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with about 255kW of power and 450Nm of torque, and a 48V mild-hybrid system. Again, all of that sounded plausible.

That said, Mitsubishi heavily hinted at a very different direction for the high-performance Evolution series when it revealed the e-Evolution concept, an all-electric SUV, at the Tokyo motor show in October 2017.

Fast forward to January this year and Japanese publication Response reported the production version of the e-Evolution concept would be revealed later in 2021, but with two electric motors instead of three.

It goes without saying that this potential new model is likely to be mechanically related to the zero-emissions Nissan Ariya mid-size crossover, which is available with a 290kW/600Nm powertrain that wouldn’t be out of place in the Evolution series.

Of course, time will tell what form/s the Evolution series returns in, if any. In the meantime, at least we have a high-quality artist’s impression of a Lancer Evo XI to dream about.

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