Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI diesel hybrid confirmed, arrive by 2014

That’s right peeps and cohorts, the next Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (XI) will feature a diesel hybrid powertrain. Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko has confirmed the new powertrain, and the commencement of its development which will be ready “within three” years.

Mitsubishi was going to bin the entire Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI project generation altogether, after announcing it wanted to shift all of its focus on producing and developing more serious fuel-efficient models like the fully electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi president Osamu Msauko has now revised those plans, thankfully, and has confirmed that development of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI will go ahead. It doesn’t mean there will be a shift from the ‘green’ theme though. Masuko said in a recent Autocar report,

“We will start work on the project next year, and it will be ready within three. I have set the goal of developing a sporting car featuring electric power.”

It’s understood the next iteration of the incredibly quick and agile Lancer Evolution will feature a hybrid powertrain to help it stick within the confines of ever-tightening emissions laws. To add even more ‘green’ to this normally red, roaring and ready-to-go icon, the hybrid system will be linked up to a diesel combustion engine, potentially similar to the powertrain previewed on the Mitsubishi PX-MiEV concept SUV.

Although a diesel might not hold the typical charismatic spark of a revving petrol engine, diesel engines are known for producing great levels of torque. The electric motor will apparently do most of the work in normal situations while the diesel will kick in to really yank the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI out of corners and towards the horizon, providing a character similar to its predecessors. The small diesel unit will also help recharge the batteries when electricity runs low.

So it seems it’s a bit of a case of better this than nothing at all. President of Mitsubishi and associated decision-makers changed their decision to scrap the Lancer Evolution due to the public’s, and the enthusiasts’ demands. The president now sees it fit that the future showroom will continue to offer a halo performance model.

What do you think about a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI diesel hybrid? Will it go down well with all the die-hard fans? We’ll be sure to provide full official specifications and details on the new version as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the facelifted 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X launch is just around the corner. Look forward to our full review of the MR version in just a few week’s time.