The battle between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, fondly called the Evo, and the Subaru WRX STI for all wheel drive supremacy is one that has been fought through technological progress and mechanical prowess. However, a change in thinking on the parts of the two companies may also bring fuel efficiency and emissions into the ring.
Both the Evo and the WRX have a very dedicated group of followers who span in age from the newly licensed to those who have more driving experience than I have years on this planet. They are also both powered by smaller displacement engines and make use of turbo-charging to produce the power needed to launch them to 60mph in about 5 seconds. However, they also both suffer from fuel economy in the low 20s on the highway and high teens in the city. For most, this isn't a problem since they offer a very sporty driving experience with room for a family and the ability to drive in inclement weather. The automakers behind them believe differently.
Both Subaru and Mitsubishi have been tossing around the idea of developing more fuel efficient engines for their all wheel drive sports sedans, with each going in slightly different directions. Subaru is looking at the diesel engines currently in use, with plans for a high performance, low displacement option available on the WRX. Current estimates put the power output at around 200hp, with torque breaching the 300 mark. The traditional boxer engine would still be available, but would likely go through a revamping and perhaps a downsizing.
Mitsubishi's Evo, on the other hand, is reportedly being outfitted with a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. Earlier reports we pointing at Mitsubishi using a modified version of the current 2.0 liter turbo to produce electricity, but newer information points at a diesel engine being used in its place. While the exact details around the system are unknown, Mitsubishi is planning on retaining the complex all wheel drive system to keep performance comparable to the current generation.
Neither the Hybrid Lancer Evolution or the Diesel WRX have been officially green lighted, but both companies have made their intentions of providing cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles across the board well known. More information is expected to be available late in the year.AutoBlog