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Is Mitsubishi preparing a 350-hp successor to the Lancer Evolution?

It won't be a crossover, either.

Mitsubishi is allegedly plotting a replacement for the emblematic Lancer Evolution phased out in 2016. Contrary to previous reports, the born-again model won't arrive as a crossover or as an SUV. It will remain surprisingly true to its roots.

Citing anonymous sources close to Mitsubishi, British magazine Autocar reported the Japanese firm has already started developing the next Lancer Evolution. It will share its modular CMF platform with members of the Renault-Nissan portfolio, and it will be available either as a four-door sedan or as a four-door hatchback.

Mitsubishi will again lean on Renault-Nissan for the Lancer Evolution's drivetrain. Power will come from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine bolted to a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both components will be sourced from the Megane RS, but the engine will spin the four wheels via a Mitsubishi-developed all-wheel drive system. Autocar believes using a 48-volt mild hybrid system could bump the four's output to nearly 350 horsepower.

The publication learned that Mitsubishi will only consider releasing a successor to the Evolution if it approves a replacement for the standard Lancer. The sedan segment is shrinking in key markets like the United States, and Mitsubishi has previously hinted it won't develop a new Lancer in-house, but using parts from Renault-Nissan could help offset the cost of bringing the model to production.

There's no word yet on when we'll see either model in showrooms. The Japanese firm hasn't commented on the report.

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