2008 Paris Auto Show: 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
Hatchbacks aren't very popular in the States, so Mitsubishi's newest version of its Lancer is directed mainly at the Europeans, who like the configuration for its practicality. But with its enthusiast market in mind, Mitsubishi also showed a Ralliart version that really raised our blood pressure. Bring it on!
2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback" src="http://img.autobytel.com/car-reviews/autobytel/digital-assets/AutoShows/2008ParisAutoShow/2009_MItsubishi_Lancer_Sportback_GB_06.jpg" alt="2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback" />
Why it Matters
The 5-door Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is vital to the European markets, which are absolutely in love with hatchbacks right now. And the Lancer Sportback and Sportback Ralliart models are as attractive as anything that any other carmaker in Europe has to offer in a 5-door configuration.
What it Looks Like
Turning the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan into a 5-door hatchback is making a silk purse out of a regular purse. The final stubbed sweep of the Lancer Sportback's hatchback form gives the car a decidedly appealing European look. Interior TBD at unveiling.
What's Under the Skin
Compared to the basic Lancer, the Sportback gets a sportier suspension and big 18-inch running gear, and engines will be a 1.8-liter gas engine and a 2.0-liter diesel. Thus, the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback will clearly live up to the promises made by its looks.
What We Think
The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback and Lancer Sportback Ralliart look great from more angles than their 4-door sedan brothers. If Mitsubishi brought the Sportback variations to the U.S. -- at the essentially "right" price, of course -- it could hail the resurgence of interest in hatchbacks for North America. The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback models just look so instinctively "right" on the road.
By Richard Homan and Greg Brown
Photo credit: Greg Brown