Farewell to the Mitsubishi Lancer

The end of the road is in sight…Automologist MAC bids farewell to an icon.  

The small sedan market is going to be getting smaller this year as Mitsubishi announced the end of the line for the much beloved and slightly iconic Lancer, which is in many ways the end of an era for motoring buffs like myself. The news also signals a shift in direction for Mitsubishi as the brand strives to remake itself under the new Renault/Nissan management team.

In some ways, the news was a long time coming, particularly after the Lancer Evo was killed off last year and will now mean that Mitsubishi will constrain itself to the light truck, oh okay, SUV, end of the market, with just the titchy Mirage still in the line-up. Don Swearingen, COO of Mitsubishi’s American Division blamed the ever shrinking small sedan segment of the market and the rise of the cross-over market, which is of course why they will be concentrating on the likes of the Outlander range.

The Lancer was originally launched in 1973 and marketed as a sporty sedan from the start, even though it was a stretch to label it as such. Over the years though, the vehicle built up a solid reputation and had a growing gang of enthusiasts due to the ability of the home hobbyist to enhance the performance with a dazzling array of aftermarket kits. The engines and chassis took these modifications well and it was relatively straightforward to squeeze 500bhp from the two-litre engine.

Such was the street cred of the vehicle that it became the star of many a movie, such as Jacky Chan’s Thunderbolt and of course the Fast and Furious franchise, where it was showcased in its alto ego get-up as the Evo. It was in the world rally scene though where the reputation of the humble Lancer was really made, with almost total domination in the 90’s and early 2000’s. There is no news as to whether the Evo name will be used again and now the car will be consigned to the annals of automotive history. And I am sure that if you could find a decent condition late model Evo, it may be worth hanging onto for a while.

My two favourite things… Red paint and Mag wheels…
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