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Brand New Mitsubishi Lancer

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Steane Klose | Jan 14, 2008

Tipped by TMR to be the performance car “bang for your bucks” buy of 2008, the Mitsubishi Ralliart has been formally announced by Mitsubishi today. With the Evo X and the Impreza STi squaring off, the Ralliart has the standard Impreza WRX firmly in its sights.

The interesting news here is that the Ralliart features Mitsubishi’s 4B11 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged engine and if that sounds familiar then it should, as it’s the same engine you will find under the hood of its big brother, the Evo-X. In detuned Ralliart guise, the 4B11 produces an output of 177kW/240hp and 343Nm of torque which should ensure the Ralliart version of the Lancer is more than a match for the WRX.

In addition to borrowing the Evo X’s engine, the Ralliart also pinches its Twin Clutch-SST gearbox, which allows the driver to bang through the gears via steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Like the Evo-X, the Ralliart gets its own full-time AWD driveline which features Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD). The ACD unit employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch centre differential, vectoring drive torque to the front and rear according to different driving conditions…much like the Evo-X, in fact the Ralliart’s AWD system is rumoured to be the same as that found under the just superceded Evo IX.

So essentially, the Ralliart is a slightly detuned Evo-X and if it is being priced to compete with the standard WRX, then it will without doubt be the performance buy of this decade.

Full details in Mitsubishi's press release after the gallery.

[Gallery=176]

PRESS RELEASE

The new Lancer Ralliart reinforces the sporty identity of the Lancer lineup (Lancer, Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Evolution) with aggressive styling and driving performance that creates a unique product between the Lancer GTS 2.4 and the Lancer Evolution models. The Lancer Ralliart makes effective use of the Lancer's rigid unibody and four-wheel independent suspension by mating this capable chassis to a turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive.

Mechanical

Lancer Ralliart is powered by the new 4B11 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged engine (also used in the Lancer Evolution) that develops an estimated 235 horsepower. The engine is mated to Mitsubishi's efficient Twin Clutch-SST gearbox that helps enhance the sporty nature of the vehicle by allowing the driver to execute lightning-quick, silky-smooth, paddle-actuated shifts. The TC-SST transmission also operates in fully automatic modes for Normal and Sport driving conditions.

The Lancer Ralliart's full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD). The ACD unit employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential, vectoring drive torque to the front and rear according to different driving conditions to realize the best balance between steering response and traction characteristics on Tarmac, Gravel, or Snow surfaces.

Lancer Ralliart is also equipped with front helical limited slip differential and a rear differential mechanical limited slip differential.

Design

Elaborating on the basic sporty design and proportions of the Lancer, the Lancer Ralliart exterior is distinguished by its more aggressively styled front bumper design, rear bumper cover, dual outlet muffler and a lightweight aluminum, ducted hood that delivers cooling air to the turbocharger.

The interior design places greater emphasis on function and vehicle control. Lancer Ralliart is equipped with FAST key, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone interface, the same Twin Clutch-SST shifter used on Lancer Evolution, and easily accessible steering column mounted paddle shifters.

Available equipment and options to include: Recaro seats, HID headlights, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system, Sirius satellite radio, power sunroof, and a 30-gigabyte hard drive navigation system with digital music server.

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