Mitsubishi is squaring up arch rival Subaru with a new hot hatch concept set to debut at the Geneva motor show next month.
Throughout the late 1990s into the early 21st century these two Japanese auto giants were engaged in an epic duel of one-upmanship, with their respective sedan supercars - the Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru Impreza WRX - redefining the laws of physics and four-door performance.
Subaru halted the legendary contest with its latest Impreza range, which has morphed into a hatchback, whilst the forthcoming Mitsubishi Evo X still has four doors and a boot.
Scooby hot hatch rivalry
Now though, the rivalry is set to resume, with Mitsubishi set to unveil its vision of a contemporary hot hatch, the Prototype-S in Geneva next month.
Styling closely mimics the new Evo X and Ralliart sedans, with an oversized grille and slant-nose front styling typical of Mitsubishi's new design language. Strong side styling creases run three-quarter proportionally across the flanks, whilst the rear features a steeply raked hatch.
Evo X sourced power
Ensuring the Prototype-S has the required performance credentials to match up in the highly competitive hot hatch segment, Mitsubishi have employed a detuned version of the Evo X 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine.
In Prototype-S form the 2-litre engine produces 177kW and drives all four wheels through Mitsubishi's latest six-speed, twin clutch SST automated manual transmission.
As expected from a performance Mitsubishi product all kinds of wonderful electro-mechanic gadgetry enhance the dynamic driving experience. The Active Centre Differential (ACD) for instance, uses an electronically controlled multi-plate hydraulic clutch to optimally tailor front/rear drive torque split to different driving conditions and attempting to deliver the optimal synergy between steering input and traction.