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Next Mitsubishi Lancer on hold?

Mitsubishi\'s compact sedan won\'t be updated any time soon.

The future of Mitsubishi's Lancer compact is on indefinite hold as the Japanese automaker switches its focus to bringing a new crop of SUVs, electrics and plug-in hybrid vehicles to market.

The compact sedan segment is quickly becoming one of the most important in the United States market, but Mitsubishi's Lancer will have to soldier on in its current form until at least 2016. The Lancer was introduced in 2007 and has had little in the way of significant updates.

Although Mitsubishi is certainly missing out on a potentially lucrative segment without a competitive version of the Lancer, the automaker says it is putting its R&D dollars into areas where it believes it is a market leader.

"In order to further establish Mitsubishi Motors brand, we must focus on EV and PHEV, this is because we are one step ahead of our competitors in those sectors,” Mitsubishi managing director of product projects and strategy group Ryugo Nakao told Australia's Car Advice.

Nakao added that Mitsubishi could lean on corporate partner Renault-Nissan for a future C-segment vehicle.

"[Regarding the C-segment car] we are also discussing with Renault but haven't decided anything. We have to consider what we are going to launch in the C-segment sedan.”

Of course the delay of the Lancer also pushes back hopes for an all-new Lancer-based Evolution sports car. However, Mitsubishi has previously hinted that the current Evo could be the end of the line for the Subaru WRX STI-rival.

Photos by Andrew Ganz.

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