Click image for high-res gallery of the new Lancer Evolution X
The press release Mitsubishi released today is ostensibly about the new naming scheme for the JDM Lancer, details of which can be found in paragraph 2 below. Of far greater importance, however, is the fact that the photos included with the release reveal the closest look yet at a production Evo X. They're officially described as a 'design study,' but we probably expect this to be a near-100% representation of the production car's appearance. There are differences between it and the Prototype X that was shown in Detroit earlier this year. These include a new grille, foglights, different mirrors, more detailed taillamps, slightly different headlamps (note the amber indicators), and new wheels. The hood from the Prototype X is carried over, as is the vent aft of the front wheel well. Like the show car, the production design study sports Brembos with red-painted calipers. Keep in mind that nothing is officially official until Mitsubishi pulls the wraps off the final production car. This is as close as we'll get until that happens, and we think it looks excellent. You can compare the Prototype X to the Lancer Evolution X via the galleries below. Now, on to the naming scheme.
In Japan, the redesigned Mitsubishi Lancer has been renamed Galant Fortis. We're sure Mitsubishi has a reason for this other than the fact that Fortis in Latin means 'strong, steadfast and courageous,' but they don't spell one out in their press release. The release also contains news that the highly-anticipated Lancer Evolution X will indeed be called -- wait for it -- the Lancer Evolution X when it arrives in Japan. (In Europe and the US, it'll be called the Lancer Evolution.) There's also word that in Europe, a 5-door Lancer will bow in September.
So, to summarize: it looks like the Lancer nameplate has been reserved solely for the go-fast rally-style road carver in Japan. Fine by us (like it matters) -- and just for clarification, in the US, the Lancer is still called the Lancer. The Galant name is reserved for that big sedan with the funny-looking steering wheel.
PR after the jump.
Gallery: Mitsubishi Prototype X