Mitsubishi Revives Iconic Nameplates with Electric Ambitions

In the world of automobiles, few brands evoke nostalgia and performance like Mitsubishi. From the rugged Montero to the sleek Lancer Sportback, these nameplates hold a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts. Now, Mitsubishi is gearing up to bring back these iconic names, but with a modern twist. The Japanese automaker is making headlines with its plans to reintroduce the Montero and Lancer Sportback, this time as part of its electrification strategy.

The Return of Montero and Lancer Sportback

Mitsubishi has recently filed trademarks for the Montero and Lancer Sportback with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While the Montero name hasn’t been used in the US since 2006, its revival hints at Mitsubishi’s ambitious plans to re-enter the American SUV market. The trademark filing specifies “automobiles” and includes various other uses, suggesting that the Montero name could soon grace a new model on American roads.

Images sourced from Mitsubishi

The Lancer Sportback, a five-door version of the Lancer introduced in 2010, is also making a comeback. Although the USPTO initially refused the trademark, Mitsubishi has appealed the decision. The potential revival of the Lancer Sportback is particularly exciting, as it could signify Mitsubishi’s version of the next-generation Nissan Leaf, given the strong partnership between Mitsubishi and Nissan.

While specific details about the new Montero and Lancer Sportback are still under wraps, speculation is rife. The Montero, known as Pajero in some markets, could share a platform with Nissan’s next-generation Patrol. This partnership could result in a plug-in hybrid SUV, blending Mitsubishi’s rugged heritage with cutting-edge technology.

The Lancer Sportback, on the other hand, is rumored to be an all-electric vehicle. If the trademark appeal is successful, this model could share its platform with the next-gen Nissan Leaf. Such a move would position Mitsubishi as a serious contender in the electric hatchback market, offering a blend of style, performance, and sustainability.

Mitsubishi’s Electric Vision

The revival of these iconic names is part of Mitsubishi’s broader strategy to embrace electric vehicles (EVs). Mitsubishi’s Momentum 2030 plan outlines a roadmap for introducing one new model per year, starting from 2026. Among these new models, two will enter segments where Mitsubishi currently has no presence. This aggressive plan underscores Mitsubishi’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Mitsubishi has already started phasing out its gas-powered car lineup. The automaker’s future lies in electric and hybrid vehicles, with a focus on high performance and advanced technology. The new Montero and Lancer Sportback will likely be key players in this transition.

Strategic Partnerships and Innovation

Mitsubishi’s strategy involves leveraging its partnership with Nissan to bring new hybrid and electric models to market. This collaboration allows Mitsubishi to tap into Nissan’s extensive experience in electric vehicle technology. The result is a lineup of vehicles that are not only environmentally friendly but also packed with advanced features and performance capabilities.

In addition to new models, Mitsubishi is also focusing on developing a strong digital ecosystem. The integration of advanced features such as autonomous driving capabilities, smart connectivity, and AI-driven enhancements will be a significant part of the new Montero and Lancer Sportback.

A New Era for Mitsubishi

As Mitsubishi prepares to launch these new models, it is clear that the company is undergoing a significant transformation. The revival of the Montero and Lancer Sportback is more than just a nod to the past; it is a bold step towards a sustainable and technologically advanced future. With its eyes set on electrification and innovation, Mitsubishi is poised to redefine its identity in the automotive world.

Mitsubishi Motors eX Concept

The new Montero and Lancer Sportback are expected to hit the market by 2026. Until then, enthusiasts and potential buyers can look forward to a new era of Mitsubishi vehicles that honor their legacy while embracing the future. Whether it’s tackling rugged terrains or cruising through city streets, these upcoming models promise to deliver the performance and reliability that Mitsubishi is known for, now with a green and innovative twist.

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Alan Moeller

By Alan Moeller

EV car evangelist! I read, watch, write, research and chat all things electric cars. Got a lead on a story? Shoot me a message on Facebook.


  1. Why wouldn’t they (or any maker, really) introduce a good small EV van? Like the VW Buzz, but cheaper.

  2. I love my i-miev, but HATE Mitsubishi. Dealers either won’t touch the cars or don’t know what they’re doing. to say nothing of refusing to honor warranty work. And they advertise monster hybrids with 20mi! of electric range as electric.

  3. I am a little hesitant to hop on the Mitsubishi bandwagon. After purchasing a MIEV some 12 years ago because they had sold them in many places around the world, I felt confident I was getting a well-proven vehicle. They quit selling them in the US, with no real effort to try to sell or support them. I am still driving the car, with decreased battery capacity, but Mitsubishi essentially dumped the people who purchased them with no battery replacement options. I own a relic that most likely will be difficult to get rid of because of the battery itself.

    1. I had one until recently too, and loved it. If you kept up with recalls and service campaigns (vacuum pump, charger, etc.) it should be a very reliable local runabout. My charger failed AFTER the free replacement window, but I was still able to repair it myself with the help of the very competent forum members at myimiev-dot-com-slash-forums.

      There is an Australian company that developed a battery upgrade that nearly doubles the capacity and range of the i-MiEV. (I think it was Oz Electric Vehicles.) Just recently they have established a couple of US distributors to make it available here. It ain’t cheap, but if you love your car and it’s in good shape you can keep it running even better than new or less than a new car.

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