Tokyo - You can get the attention of just about any petrolhead by using the names ‘Mitsubishi’ and ‘Evolution’ in the same sentence, but the Japanese carmaker’s new e-Evolution Concept is a far cry from those rally-bred sedans of yore. It’s a melting pot of Mitsubishi’s future ideas for design, electric propulsion and artificial intelligence.
With its chunky wheels, slanted windshield, short overhangs and razor-sharp creases, the e-Evolution Concept is a clear attempt to get us excited about Mitsubishi’s design future, which has been looking a lot brighter since Nissan bought a controlling stake in the ailing Japanese brand last year.
Arriving at Tokyo with a new brand strategy, Mitsubishi clearly has a renewed sense of optimism, and over and above all that, the e-Evolution concept heralds a new design philosophy which the carmaker calls "Robust & Ingenious”.
Mitsubishi’s future game-plan entails going big on electric cars, and the e-Evolution paves the way with an interesting new triple-motor four-wheel-drive system. Designed to push the vehicle through corners with the greatest of ease, the system places two electric motors on the back axle, coupled via a torque vectoring electronic Active Yaw Control unit, and there's a single motor up front.
Mitsubishi won’t say how powerful the EV concept is, but does reassure that the electric motors are of the “high-performance” variety and are fed by a high-capacity battery system.
Inside, the concept has a jet-fighter-inspired cockpit with a ‘floating’ instrument cluster and a large flat screen that spans the full width of the dashboard, treating occupants to the information overload that many so crave these days.
Part of Mitsubishi’s new strategy is to embrace artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity and on-board as well as cloud computing.
The e-Evolution shows its thinking in this regard with an AI system that not only reads the road and traffic conditions ahead, but also apparently learns how skilled the driver is and “coaches” him or her accordingly, with a personalised training plan, through voice prompts and dashboard displays.
Mitsubishi insists that this is done in an “unobtrusive” manner that won’t irritate the driver, but we somehow can’t imagine something like this going down well with octane-blooded Evo fans. Then again, there is certainly no shortage of drivers out there that could use something like this, albeit zero who would admit it.