Mitsubishi has unveiled its new Sportback today, in both Ralliart and hum-drum regular form. The former, the Ralliart version, is a cut-price hot-hatch with Evo looks, but a more mainstream price. It will also be available in four-door saloon form, but not in the UK.
Combined with the regular models, Mitsubishi reckons that the Sportback range will account for 80 percent of Lancer sales in Europe, and that Europe will also take 70 percent of global Sportback production.
Big figures, but just what is the Mitsubishi Sportback?
The Sportback is the five-door version of the Lancer and closely follows the blueprint of the Prototype-S. The rear lamps are elongated and wrap around the rear to give the car a wider-looking stance; at the front, it gets Mitsubishi’s trademark black grille with a chrome surround.
There’s no Evo X version of the Sportback yet – but there is a £21k Ralliart version that’s essentially a baby Evo. The Ralliart features a detuned version of the 2.0-litre turbo from its bigger brother, delivering 247bhp and 260lb ft torque through a permanent four-wheel drive system.
The Ralliart’s four-wheel drive system is less sophisticated than the Evo X’s, with no Active Yaw Control, but the brakes are upgraded over regular models' with twin-pot ventilated front discs. The Evo’s dual-clutch gearbox will also be available on the Ralliart version, but it won’t have the Super Sport mode which speeds up the gearchanges.
Click 'Next' below to read about the regular Sportback models
What about the regular Sportback models?
Basic Sportback models come with a choice of three engines: a 107bhp 1.5-litre petrol, a 141bhp 1.8-litre petrol and a 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel. They’re available with four gearboxes, including a six-speed CVT.
An all-new Euro V-compliant diesel will also be launched in spring 2009, for both the saloon and Sportback models. The Sportback models also go on UK sale in the first quarter of 2009, and the Ralliart version will be priced from around £21,000.