Mitsubishi Prototype-S (2008): first official pictures

Published: 26 February 2008

Welcome to the new Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback. Although this concept is badged Prototype-S, this is the five-door version of the latest Lancer, and it will be launched in autumn 2008.

The concept, which will be shown at next week's Geneva Motor Show, is powered by the 237bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre from the Lancer Ralliart. Power is fed to all four wheels by the Twin Clutch SST ‘box. The Sportback will be available in that spec for about £21,500, but the full-blown Evo X spec is another matter. 

How will the Mitsubishi Sportback handle?

Apparently the Sportback has been dynamically benchmarked against the Alfa 159 Sportwagon, while Mitsubishi also want its new five-door to match the aspirational levels of the old Saab 900 Turbo Combi-Coupe. Mmm...

Style-wise the Prototype-S is said to be inspired by jet fighters. Expect the looks to be toned down a little for production to match the regular Lancer, though those wraparound rear lights will stay. With that rear spoiler it looks a little Ford Focus ST to our eyes.

Mitsubishi expects the Sportback to account for 70 percent of Lander sales in Europe, and 80 percent in the UK. The Sportback will come with either 1.5 (108bhp) or 1.8-litre (142bhp) petrols, or a 2.0-litre (138bhp) diesel. Prices will start at £12,499 for the GS1-spec Sportback. 

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy