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The new Mitsubishi Evo is a driver-training EV
The electric e-Evolution SUV mixes yaw control with AI to help you drive quickly
We already know the new Mitsubishi Evo (of sorts) will be an electric SUV. And with the e-Evolution concept’s unveil at the Tokyo motor show, we now have an idea of what it could look like.
Yep, the name of one of the finest rally reps ever is now stuck on the back of a plug-in crossover. The good news is that it sounds a fair bit more advanced than an Outlander PHEV, and it looks a bit more interesting too.
It’s a full EV – not a hybrid – with three motors driving all four wheels. One is on the front axle, with two at the rear, and those are operated via a yaw control system. Which proves there’s some credence to the use of the Evo name.
But the big story concerns the e-Evo’s artificial intelligence (AI). “An array of sensors allows the AI system to instantly read changes in road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver’s intent,” says Mitsubishi.
“Seamlessly coordinating driver intent with vehicle performance, the system supports drivers of all abilities and by making it easier and safer to control the vehicle, thereby bringing the motoring experience to a new level.”
If we’re understanding that correctly, Mitsubishi hopes to mimic all the clever diffs and systems of Lancer Evos old via a mix of AI witchcraft and something resembling the licence modes of Gran Turismo. Perhaps it’ll project cornering lines onto the road ahead…
“After building a picture of the driver’s skill level, the system constructs a training program that provides advice through voice dialogue and a large dashboard display,” the e-Evo’s bumf continues. “As a result, drivers of all abilities quickly experience a vehicle that behaves the way they want it and soon they find themselves enjoying the driving experience to an even greater degree.”
Yikes. We thought AI was just about cars developing a ‘brain’ that learns how warm you like the heated seat. Mitsubishi sees it as a more intelligent stability control system that administers driving advice. Whether it’s a safety-conscious nanny or a Ken Block-like yob trapped in the dashboard, we don’t yet know.
And speaking of the dashboard, the interior shows us what’s possible when there’s no engine to accommodate up front. Mitsubishi reckons the horizontal dashboard will act “like a level in an electronic viewfinder”, and give you a better idea of how much the car is leaning, like an additional driving aid. The minimalist controls and odd steering wheel will probably stay in the concept car, mind.
Eager to have a go ASAP? Or do you hate being told how to drive?