The rear of this Mitsubishi Lancer is fine, but the front is interesting to say the least.
It is not a lie to say that the glory days of Mitsubishi may have long been over. Once the dominating force in Dakar with its Pajeros and WRC with its Lancer Evos, those days has long since passed for the Japanese automaker.
These days, they are instead the unloved third sibling of the constantly troubled Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership. Trudging out ageing products that appeals to nearly no one in the market. Save for its Triton pickup truck that is singlehandedly keeping the brand afloat, in Malaysia at least.
That said, even in the not too distant past Mitsubishi were producing some reasonably attractive offerings. The previous generation Lancer for instance, was a relatively strong seller worldwide for the Japanese marque.
JDM enthusiasts probably most fondly remembered it as the base of the last Mitsubishi Evo to date, in the form of the manic all-wheel-drive Evolution X. Malaysians too, have a special connection with this previous generation Lancer, not only because quite a number made it on Malaysian roads as Mitsubishis, but even more were sold as Protons too as Inspiras.
A thoroughly adequate sedan underneath, it was perhaps the sharp, sleek design with its aggressive shark-nose front end that appealed most to buyers who wanted something different from the normal Civics and Corollas. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the supposed exterior aesthetic of the next generation Lancer.
Rendered by the talented render artist Kleber Silva, striking will probably be the kindest way to describe the images of what could be the next generation Lancer you see before you. Remembering though, that the term striking can be interpreted in both a good and a bad context.
In terms of the good type of striking, the rear design of the Lancer is certainly that. The rear LED tail lights that flank the large tri-diamond emblem may have been lifted straight off the Renault Megane, but the overall Audi A3-esque rear profile is pleasing to the eye. The large angular twin pipes nestled within the black rear diffuser adds a touch of sportiness to the rear of this Japanese compact sedan too.
Speaking of sportiness, the muscular rear haunches and the presumably decorative black fender vents add to the athletic appearance of the Lancer, in addition to giving it a more sophisticated and modern appearance compared to the old angular one. This is further helped by the large two-tone alloy wheels, a shark fin antenna, blacked out side pillars and chrome surround around the window sills that are also observed on the renderings.
On the flip side of the striking coin however will most likely be the front end design of the next-generation Lancer. Although the hallmarks of Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield corporate face is clearly observed here, what is also clearly observed is that it is also not the best looking thing in the world.
The bulbous look on the front end begins from the slim, slanting headlights that flank the front grille, which incidentally culminates at the hilariously large air intake that takes up nearly the full width of the front bumper. The front bumper too is more bulbous than it needs to be, further accentuating the swollen front end aesthetic. The analogy of ‘a fish with a gaping mouth that has had its cheeks stuffed’ that was used by another motoring publication probably best sums up the front end of this rendering.
Those still horrified by the front end will be pleased to hear that there is no official word from Mitsubishi thus far about actually even considering another Lancer any time soon. Seeing as how much trouble the company is mired in however, any new Mitsubishi branded cars may not be long for this world either. That said, with Nissan and Renault slowly but surely managing digging themselves out of the hole they are in currently, maybe perhaps the third member of this Alliance will once again produce some desirable cars like the Lancers of old again.