Mitsubishi planning to re-introduce Evo to UK
The legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution could be set to make a return to British shores.
Mitsubishi bosses have said that they are considering re-launching the Evolution in the UK with a special limited edition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company's Lancer model.The Evolution, a rally-bred performance version of the Lancer saloon, has not been imported into the UK since 2012, when it was dropped from the company's UK range after unfavourable exchange rates made it impossible to import at a competitive price.
However, Mitsubishi bosses have always maintained that the UK is one of their most important markets for the Evolution.
And now that exchange rates have returned to a level thought to make import more feasible, Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi UK's managing director, has said that a limited import could be on the cards.
"It's an iconic car with an incredible history and a passionate following," he told Autocar.
"I've floated the idea of importing some cars as part of the anniversary and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The initial plan was to sell 40 cars, but a single dealer has asked for 20, so the final number is likely to be nearer 100."
The news will be welcomed by fans of the Evolution, which has garnered a loyal group of enthusiasts in the UK.
Although the first few models were not imported officially, they enjoyed a cult following thanks in no small part to the fact that rising star and future world rally champion Richard Burns drove them from 1996 to 1998.
But it was when Mitsubishi decided to import the Evolution V that the model's notoriety in Britain really took off.
World Rally Championship wins with Tommi Makinen at the helm only increased the popularity of the Evolution, and for 2001, a whole new body shape arrived with the Evolution VII.
But by the time the Evolution X bowed out in 2012, sales were on the wane, and prices were on the rise.
However, the news that Mitsubishi is considering a re-introduction will bring hope to Evo fans everywhere.
It can be no coincidence, either, that the news comes just as Subaru appears to be softening its stance on importing the Evolution's chief competitor, the WRX, which has also been absent from the UK market for the best part of a year.
The company had previously said that the next-generation WRX would not be coming to the UK, but now says the decision on importing the car to Britain is "unconfirmed".
The prospect of the two rally-bred rivals going head-to-head is a mouth-watering one indeed.
But which was your favourite Evo? Have a look through our gallery below, and post a comment to tell us what you think!