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- What’s New – The Lancer sedan and its evil twin, the Evolution, were new last year. Now Mitsubishi is showing a concept that could be the hatchback version of the Lancer Ralliart, which slots between the Lancer GTS and the Evolution. While the car is pitched as a concept, it’s very close to a production vehicle. Mitsubishi says it will bring a hatchback Lancer to the U.S. The Ralliart – due out later this year – will use a detuned version of the turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the Evolution, along with all-wheel drive, a twin clutch gearbox and Active Center Differential.
- Why It Matters – Buyers could have another choice among the sporting five-door hatchbacks on the market. The Ralliart Sportback, which is the expected name, would go up against the Subaru WRX Sportwagon and the four-door Volkswagen GTI. These cars work for small families while offering the parents something entertaining to drive. The Ralliart sedan fills the gap between the GTS and the high-priced and high-performance Evolution. It all makes a nice range from which to choose.
Mitsubishi Prototype S Preview – 2008 Geneva Auto Show: The Prototype S is outfitted with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 240 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque. A twin-clutch gearbox transfers power to the Active Center Differential, which drives all four wheels. It’s the same system from the previous generation Evolution, and the drivetrain that will grace the Ralliart.
While Mitsubishi no longer runs a factory team in the World Rally Championship, it continues to make the road-going version of the car that won the company the 1998 manufacturer’s title, the Lancer Evolution. While the Evo is the top dog, some of the prestige and performance goodies have rubbed off onto the new Ralliart.
The Prototype S is a sharp looking hatchback and in Ralliart trim could be a worthy competitor to the WRX Sportwagon and a good choice for buyers seeking utility and performance in one car.
Photo credit: Mitsubishi
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