Originally Posted by manticus
This is where Mitsu failed - they created a blazing-fast follow-up to the IX with all sorts of new tech, fancy Recaros, etc. and then put it into sedan form only with a price higher than the STI. Subaru went with the low-cost solution - old tech, old engine, utilitarian hatchback, and a few nicer amenities in the interior. Recession hits and Mitsu can't figure out why they're going out of business. They responded as quick as they could with a Fastback version of their Lancer, but it was too little/too late.
No doubt that the Evo is the better performing car - but the number of people racing these cars on the weekend does not make for a big enough market at this price range.
Reminds me of my experience walking around the auto show last year - Mitsu salesguy calls me over to check out the Evo X.
I say: "Yeah, they're awesome cars but I already bought a new car last year".
He asks: "What did you buy?"
I say: " I got an STI"
He rolls his eyes and says: "Why did you waste your money on that, the Evo X is faster!"
I say: "Yeah, but it won't hold me and my wife and our luggage. Real life, man..."
I paid less for my Evo than the STi. And I disagree about buying it for the speed (though it is way more mod friendly). The Evo drives nicer. I went with my STi (2005) over the Evo 8 because it drove nicer (less bumpy, better turning radius, etc.). I bought the Evo X because it drove nicer than the STI. It drives like a Honda when in traffic and is much more comfortable on long drives than my STi was. The only thing I can say that is better in the STI is the trunk room. Oh, and gas mileage in my Evo running mid 12s is 26mpg on the highway and around 20mpg around town which was much better than I got in my STI. I also like that now my Evo is wingless (well, it's got a DL trunk), it attracts a lot less attention than the STI seems too, since it is based on the regular sedan.
I think Mitsu markets their good vehicles poorly (maybe with the exception of the Outlander Sport). But the Evo (I guess you could say the same for STI) is less than a fully loaded Accord V6 Coupe. I think they believe specialty vehicles are for those "in the know" vs being a mainstream vehicle in their line up.
I think Mitsus other problem here is that they do well in other countries with their line up and try to apply it here. It seems the Lancer is the official car of Canada, and their small car line up does well in many other countries. Seems like they would need to focus on something that is big and fast to do well here.