Mitsubishi Lancer production ending this year

The Lancer will be replaced by a crossover.

Mitsubishi has announced it will end production of the Lancer in August.

The rally-bred Lancer Evolution was axed two years ago, but the standard model (pictured) received a series of updates inside and out for the 2016 model year. Sales continued to decline, so the Japanese brand has decided the Lancer will join the Evolution in the pantheon of automotive history before the end of the year.

Don Swearingen, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mitsubishi's North American arm, told Motor1 that another compact sedan isn't in the pipeline. Mitsubishi has previously made it clear that it wants to abandon sedans altogether and shift to building exclusively crossovers and SUVs. The move makes sense considering crossovers are outselling sedans and wagons in nearly every market around the globe.

The Lancer's void will be filled by a new compact crossover that could debut during the Geneva Auto Show, according to Autoweek. Little is known about the model, though it's expected to draw inspiration from the XR-PHEV and XR-PHEV II concepts shown in 2014 and 2015, respectively. It could even spawn a range-topping, Evolution-badged variant equipped with a powerful plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

The only Mitsubishi sedan whose future seems safe is the Mirage, surprisingly. "Our customers love the product," Swearingen pointed out. He announced that a brand-new, second-generation model will appear before the end of the decade.

Read more!