First the Eclipse, now the Lancer. According to AutoExpress, it appears that Mitsubishi is working on a radical revival of the Lancer moniker, not as a conventional C-segment saloon, but rather a funky crossover that will rival “everything from the Ford Focus to the Toyota C-HR.”

As weird as that may sound, the Japanese company, which is now part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, is enjoying a rapid growth in sales. Now, the firm’s boss, Briton Trevor Mann and chief designer Tsunehiro Kunimoto have started work on replacements for all of Mitsubishi’s current SUVs, as well as a new generation of small cars and the Lancer.

Mann told the British publication that the direction of the Lancer is close to being finalised, and he also gave a strong hint of what size of vehicle will carry the badge. “We have a long-range product plan that’s pretty solid until 2025, and a dotted line beyond that,” he said. “Within that what we’ve said is, ‘which vehicles do we want? What are we going to work on?’ We’re going to replace [the] ASX, Outlander and Triton. Then we have these two boxes: Pajero and Lancer.

“Lancer’s probably the easiest one; we believe we’ve got a solution that could fit the segment. Because if you look globally, the C-segment hatchback [Golf and Focus] market is not shrinking. It’s down a bit in the US and Europe. But its numbers are still expanding in China. So there is appeal. And I think because the segment is so large globally, we’ve got to take a look at it,” added Mann.

Kunimoto said the design direction previewed by the e-Evolution Concept is ideal for a smaller vehicle. “Just because it’s C-segment doesn’t mean it has to be a very conventional hatchback,” Kunimoto said. “Maybe we can create a new type of hatchback vehicle. We’re thinking quite radically. Originality is as much a part of the Mitsubishi design philosophy now as consistency.”

Mitsubishi will quite likely build the new Lancer based on the Alliance’s latest CMF C/D platform, one with enough footprint and flexibility to support a crossover with the design just like the e-Evolution. The platform could potentially offer a driveline with front- or all-wheel drive, including the fitment of Mitsubishi’s own hybrid systems.

Currently, the e-Evo Concept uses three high-torque electric motors – one powering the front wheels, and a pair of them at the back forming a new Dual Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) system. Combined, the triple motor layout sets up a unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamic control system, which Mitsubishi says will provide crisp and nimble handling across all road conditions.

GALLERY: Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept