Mitsubishi Lancer History

  • Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution History Slider

    Lancer and Lancer Evolution: A True Performance Heritage Presented by Vern Eide Mitsubishi in Sioux Falls

Are Mitsubishi Lancers a good car?

Known as an affordable and dependable compact sedan, the sporty Mitsubishi Lancer was loads of fun to drive. Meanwhile the Lancer Evolution, popular on the world rally scene, established itself as a performance workhorse that put other sports cars in its rearview mirror and a smile on its drivers faces.

Is the Mitsubishi Lancer discontinued?

The Lancer is no longer in production but its legacy lives on through the passion of Mitsubishi’s drivers and the current vehicle lineup of fuel-efficient cars like Mirage and family-friendly SUV models. Even though you can’t buy a new Lancer, you can still find a Mitsubishi Lancer for sale in Sioux Falls every once in a while when you search our used vehicle inventory.

Time-tested. Road-proven.

The Mitsubishi Lancer was named after a soldier of the cavalry regiment in Europe’s knightly age and it debuted on the world stage in 1973.


Styled for superior aerodynamic drag and a robust monocoque chassis for increased performance, the very first Lancer was powered by engines using Mitsubishi Clean Air technology. It was the first 1973 model to be certified as having a low-pollution engine by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


After nearly three decades and a successful run in Europe and Asia, the Lancer launched in the United States in 2001, powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 120 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque.

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Over the years Lancer’s popularity grew as additional, more powerful trims and models – such as the Lancer GT, Lancer Ralliart, Lancer Sportback LS and Lancer Sportback Ralliart – were added to the line, bridging the gap between the Lancer’s base model and its high-performance sibling: Lancer Evolution.


Slowly, however, market demand started shifting towards vehicles offering greater versatility and space, and cars with smaller environmental footprints. In 2017, Mitsubishi decided to stop production of the Lancer and shift its focus over to crossovers and SUVs, as well as electric and hybrid powertrains.


Today, Lancer’s performance legacy continues to endure with Mitsubishi’s versatile crossovers and efficient city cars.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: Street Legend

The first Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was launched in 1992, rally-bred from its inception.


To make it ultra-competitive, Mitsubishi took the lightweight Lancer, reduced its weight even further, increased body and suspension rigidity, and powered it with a 4G63-type intercooler turbo engine delivering torque through a 4WD system. The initial production run for racing certification sold out within days.


It wasn’t until 2003, however – after honing its performance history over several generations in Europe and Asia – that the Lancer Evolution became available in the United States, promising a thrill ride like no other. By that time, due to the popularity of certain video games and appearances in several Hollywood movies, the Lancer Evolution already had quite the following.

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Each successive iteration of the car received new creative thinking: more power, more weight savings, brakes a little deeper, apex clipped a little tighter, built to come out of corners a little harder. Many Lancer Evolution features, like Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), were fined tuned and introduced to other Mitsubishi vehicles.


But all races must come to a stop. And in 2015, Mitsubishi announced the Lancer Evolution X – the tenth generation – would be its final one. To give it a special send-off, Mitsubishi decided to create a limited farewell edition: the Lancer Evolution FE. Individually numbered-and collectively desired – the Final Edition was backed by a 303 hp engine. It was the kind of performance that ate bigger, thirstier V6s for breakfast.


The end of an era? Not exactly. Mitsubishi is continuously working to incorporate its performance heritage into its crossover and electric vehicle segments. And the future promises to be as exciting as the past.

Mitsubishi Lancer Timeline


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1973: Lancer’s Big Debut

The first-generation Lancer launches as a two and four door compact sedan in Europe and Asia. In Lancer’s debut year, the Lancer 1600GSR dominates the Australian Southern Cross Rally with a First-Second-Third-place sweep, garnering Mitsubishi Motors’ fourth Rally title overall.

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1992: Lancer Evolution: Born to Win

The iconic Lancer Evolution launches in Europe and Asia, and goes on to win many World Rally Championship, track racing and hill climb titles.

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1998: WRC Championship

Tommi Mäkinen wins a record four consecutive WRC Driver’s Championships from 1996 to 1999, while Mitsubishi claims the WRC Manufacturer’s Championship in 1998, all with multiple generations of the Lancer Evolution.

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2001: Lancer Arrives in America

Styled with a rally racing-inspired design, the Lancer launches in the U.S. as a replacement for the Mirage. Three models are available: ES, LS, and O-Z® Rally, in either manual or automatic transmissions.

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2003: Lancer Evolution’s American Debut

The All-Wheel-Control equipped Lancer Evolution arrives in the United States, and is awarded Automobile magazine’s 2003 Automobile of the Year.

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2004: New Models are added

Choosing a new Lancer becomes a bit more challenging as the new Lancer Ralliart, Lancer Sportback LS and Lancer Sportback Ralliart are added to the Mitsubishi family.

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2007: Lancer Evolution X

Lancer Evolution X – the last-generation model – launches with Super All-Wheel Control. Deemed one of the most advanced AWD systems in the world, it wins Car of the Year in Japan.

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2015: Confidence You Can Count On

Thanks to advanced high-tech engineering and safety features, the Mitsubishi Lancer is awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick – the highest safety award designation offered by the organization – for the seventh consecutive year.
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2015: One of a kind. Last of a kind.

Mitsubishi announces the last – and limited – version of Lancer Evolution: The Lancer Evolution Final Edition. In the U.S. only 1600 are available, and the very first Evolution FE is auctioned off on eBay to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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2017: Lancer Production Ends

In August of 2017, production of the Mitsubishi Lancer ends, two years after the sunsetting of the iconic Lancer Evolution. The Mitsubishi Mirage remains to serve the demands of the small sedan market.

Mitsubishi Lancer Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of car was the Mitsubishi Lancer, and how was it different from the Lancer Evolution and Lancer Evolution X?

While the Lancer and Lancer Evolution were based on the same platform and shared the same DNA, there were many differences between the two cars, with power, drivetrain (FWD versus AWD), and a stiffer suspension on Lancer Evolution being the key differentials. The Lancer Evolution X was Evolution’s tenth and last-generation model.

What engine was in the Lancer Evolution, and just how fast was it?

Before being discontinued, the 2015 Lancer Evolution featured a turbocharged 291-hp MIVEC engine and Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control technology. The farewell model – Lancer Evolution Final Edition – boasted 303 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, with an estimated top speed of 155 mph. Lancer Evolution utilized a variety of engines based on the best Mitsubishi technology of the time. From 1992-2006 it supported a 4G63 turbocharged engine. From 2008-2015 the 4B11 turbocharged engine was the game changer.

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Does Mitsubishi still make the Lancer or Lancer Evolution?

Mitsubishi discontinued production of the Lancer and Lancer Evolution. However, due to popular demand in China and Taiwan, the Lancer nameplate lives on in these markets with the Lancer EX sport sedan.

Why did Mitsubishi discontinue the Lancer and Lancer Evolution?

As efficiency and versatility became increasingly important to consumers, Mitsubishi decided to focus their efforts on crossover vehicles and electric or hybrid cars in order to meet customer demand.


Will Mitsubishi ever bring back the Lancer or Lancer Evolution?

There are no plans to bring back the Lancer or Lancer Evolution. Mitsubishi remains focused on crossover and electric/hybrid car segments. At the 2018 LA Auto Show, Mitsubishi introduced the e-Evolution concept – an all-electric crossover whose high-performance DNA is true to the Evolution reputation.


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Used Mitsubishi Lancer for Sale in Sioux Falls, SD


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