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Lancer Evolution being axed doesn’t keep performance enthusiasts away

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will be the last performance model the Japanese automaker produces, but it’s not keeping buyers away.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is going away forever, and sales of the performance car are booming. Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) reports that the last-generation Lancer Evolution has seen the best January-through-November sales for Lancer Evolution since 2008. Performance enthusiasts are snatching up the 2014 models fast as the last 2015 models are just starting to arrive in showrooms now.

2015 Lancer Evolution arriving now

MMNA says the ultra-high-performance 2014 Lancer Evolution and the recently redesigned Outlander 7-passenger crossover both experienced a sales increase of 8.9 percent year-to-date. The first 2015 Lancer Evolutions are arriving now and dealers have a few 2014 models to sell.The axing of the EVO X is not keeping performance fans away from buying the last 2014 models and shows that Mitsubishi is making a big mistake by discontinuing the performance sedan.

U.S. buyers get left out

One reason the 2014 Lancer Evolutions are selling so well is the fact that the U.S. 2015 models won’t be coming with performance Recaro seats. This is due to an airbag requirement in the new U.S. model sedans. Apparently this was done to accommodate a new side airbag that will be installed in the front seats of the new 2015 EVOs. All U.S. spec 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sports cars will now be equipped with the standard Ralliart/Lancer GT front seats.

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A Canadian reader told us that this does not apply to the 2015 Lancer Evolutions being shipped up north because they don’t have the same U.S. side bag requirement. Performance fans know how important having Recaro seats are in the Lancer Evolution and we’ll see how it affects 2015 models sales in the coming months. The Ralliart/Lancer GT front seats are a substantial downgrade from the superior performance Ricaro seats.

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Mitsubishi is removing itself from the performance car race after this last tenth-generation 2015 Lancer Evolution X is done here in the U.S. This will be the last generation of the rally-bred Lancer Evolution that won four straight World Rally Championship titles. Mitsubishi Motors is going in a different direction with their entire lineup and will now focus entirely on environmentally-friendly cars. The new performance models from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will feature a new eco-performance technology that we see in the Concept XR-PHEV. Unfortunately, this is the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution’s swan song and it’s going away forever.