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Mitsubishi's performance car comeback begins! Ralliart return finally gets hardcore - but with a go-fast 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander or a new sports car?

Is the Ralliart Concept (pictured) a preview of an Outlander PHEV Ralliart?

The days of Mitsubishi being out of the performance-car stakes are nearly over, with its eagerly anticipated Ralliart return now just around the corner – but what it’s likely to bring could come as a surprise.

While we might have to wait until Friday, January 14 to find out all the details, Mitsubishi has released a darkened teaser image of the Ralliart Concept, which hints at what’s to come.

Needless to say, the large, protruding diffuser element shown suggests the Ralliart Concept means serious business, and that, of course, indicates it will have a proper performance focus.

But assuming the Ralliart Concept previews an upcoming production model, what can we expect it to entail? Well, all the signs point to it being a harder-hitting version of the new-generation Outlander PHEV mid-size SUV.

If you look closely at the rear bumper depicted, you’ll notice several similarities with that of the Outlander PHEV, while the Ralliart Concept also appears to have an identically shaped tailgate.

That said, Mitsubishi’s may have instead cooked up a standalone SUV or even sports car for the Ralliart Concept. Either way, it’s shaping up as the brand’s most exciting reveal since the e-Evolution Concept, an all-electric SUV, in October 2017.

Yep, the e-Evolution Concept whet appetites by forecasting a completely different direction for Mitsubishi’s Evolution high-performance sub-brand, which had been established by an internal-combustion sedan.

An Outlander PHEV performance flagship has been rumoured for some time now. An Outlander PHEV performance flagship has been rumoured for some time now.

If the e-Evolution Concept is anything to go by, the Ralliart Concept could go in a similar direction, adding strength to the possibility of it being a hotter Outlander PHEV.

And don’t forget, an Outlander PHEV performance flagship has been rumoured for some time now, so the Ralliart Concept could very well serve as its precursor.

An Outlander PHEV Ralliart would likely using a more potent version of the recently upgraded plug-in hybrid powertrain, which combines a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine with front- and rear-mounted electric motors. Stay tuned.