Mitsubishi Lancer: the lowdown
With all the recent attention focused on Mitsubishi’s hot shot Evo X, its donor car, the Lancer, has been a bit neglected. Until now. A far cry from the unbreakable but unlovable stock Lancers that went before it, Mitsubishi’s new Jetta basher mixes sleek lines with four-square attitude and a healthy dollop of value for money. When the saloon arrives in March next year, the Lancer will join the family car sales fray, with a choice of three engines and a bewildering array of transmission options. Hit next for the all the details.
So, what’s new for the Lancer?
The Evo X may get all the bells and whistles, but the standard Lancer starts off with a 142bhp, 1.8-litre petrol unit aimed squarely at the fleet sector. There's also the option of a more frugal 2.0-litre diesel engine, which pumps out an equally healthy 138bhp. The five-door will arrive the following August, and with it, an entry-level 1.5-litre MIVEC petrol engine, which will not be available on the heavier four-door becasue of its paltry 109bhp. Mitsubishi has gone all out on the gearbox front. Buyers will have the option of a five-speed manual with the 1.5 and 1.8-litre petrol engines, a six-speed manual with the diesel and a CVT 'box with the 1.8. Mitsubishi's automated manual transmission will be reserved for the Evo only. That's a lot of choice just to change gear.
When will we see the finished product?
The Lancer saloon will be available in UK showrooms on 1 March next year, but not before its official unveiling at the Frankfurt show in September. The Evo X won't be seen in the metal until the Tokyo show at the end of October. There’s no word yet on how much the new Lancer will cost, but expect it to be priced to take on the likes of the Honda Civic and other small family cars. Mitsubishi has high hopes for the new-look Lancer, and expects strong sales in the first year, mainly from the five-door. While it might be living in the shadow of the Evo, the Lancer will gain some street cred in the form of a Ralliart version. The hot Lancer should arrive after the introduction of the five-door, and kick out an impressive 220bhp.