Mitsubishi hasn't ruled out making a hot Mirage model to take the fight to the Ford Fiesta ST.
> Potentially badged as an Evolution model, a Mirage Evo could keep performance fans happy until a new Lancer version arrives in three to four years time.
Mitsubishi Motors' UK boss, Lance Bradley, said his team had been discussing a breathed-on Mirage and that the possibility of one "hadn't escaped them".
He admitted that small cars like the Fiesta ST and higher-powered sports cars had polarized the opportunity for the Lancer Evo and he could see why a hot Mirage would be an exciting proposition.
"We're set to make a small profit this fiscal year and then next year we are anticipating a better one again – when you're making money it makes these niche projects a lot easier," he explained.
"When you're not making money it is hard to sign off bespoke projects that may or may not work, but when the balance sheet is healthier you can be more adventurous with things like a hot Mirage."
Bradley later tweeted a picture of a Mirage with flared wheel arches, large spoiler and gaping front grille asking his followers whether the manufacturer should do a high performance model. If it looks anything like the picture he published, there would be few hot hatch fans that would say no.
"They'll carry the FQ badging and will be the most powerful Evo ever," confirmed Bradley. "They will be a great way to sign off the last internal combustion engined Evos before they're replaced in the future by hybrid versions."
Currently there are more orders for the special edition Evos than Mitsubishi has slots for and the manufacturer hasn't yet decided how the cars will be allocated. It could come down to a ballot or on a first come, first served basis. One thing is for sure, though – the new Evos will be fast.
"The Evo can take loads of power – we had one in last week running 600bhp and it can take as much as 700bhp," said Bradley. He wouldn't comment on our suggestion that an FQ440 would work well with the 40th anniversary and follow on nicely from the last one sold, the FQ400.
He added: "These will be the last of this chapter of Evos. There is a possibility that there will be one in the future based on a plug in hybrid powertrain and that will be amazing – but this is the last of the internal combustion engine versions and we want to go out with a bang."