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Brand New Mitsubishi Lancer

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Steane Klose | Jul 14, 2008

Late last week, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announced the addition of the AWD Ralliart trim level to the Galant Fortis sedan series or as we know it, the Lancer. Built to take on Subaru’s basic WRX the Lancer Ralliart is an Evo in a cheaper, more sedate suit.

But don’t be thinking that Mitsubishi have downgraded the package to fit the downgraded price – because this particular Ralliart features some serious kit.

Dan introduced TMR readers to Mitsubishi’s trick Twin Clutch SST transmission a couple of months ago and while it is an option on the Evo X, the Lancer Ralliart comes with the slick shifting twin-clutch box as standard, albeit in a slightly modified form. In Ralliart guise, the SST features revised 5th and 6th gear ratios to aid high speed touring and efficiency and there are two rather than three driver selectable modes, Normal and Sport. Super Sport is reserved for Evo X buyers.

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The previous generation Evo IX has donated the AWD system, which means an Active Centre Differential, mechanical rear Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and a helical cut front LSD. All of this mechanical trickery is controlled by Mitsubishi’s vehicle dynamics control system which includes Active Stability Control (ACD) and Anti-lock Brakes (ABS). So, this is no shrinking violet when it comes to carving up tarmac – or dirt.

Under the bonnet, the value story continues with the Lancer Ralliart borrowing the Evo X’s 4B11 2.0-litre 16-valve DOHC MIVEC engine. It’s not packing the punch of the Evo X, with a ‘restrained’ 177Kw and 343Nm (down 30Kw and 23Nm) thanks to a smaller turbo – nothing the aftermarket won’t fix though.

Unlike the Evo X, Brembo brakes are not a feature, instead the Lancer Ralliart relies on a set of 16-inch discs and 2-piston callipers up front – borrowed from the Outlander SUV. Wheels are 18inch alloys fitted with 215/45R tyres.

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If you’re after the boy racer look, then the Evo X is your machine - Mitsubishi has kept the Lancer Ralliart’s styling restrained but purposeful. A unique front bar and rear bumper combine with a vented aluminium bonnet. A rear deck-lid spoiler is available as an option and the grille and boot lid carry the Ralliart emblem.

The interior is all Lancer, differentiated from the standard Lancer by a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear-shift knob, aluminium pedals, sports bucket seats and an instrument cluster with a matte black face.

Priced at 2,982,000 Yen (around AUD29,000) on the Japanese Domestic Market, the Lancer Ralliart represents extraordinary value. Factor in ‘Lucky Country’ taxes and the pricing of the WRX in Australia and logic tells us that we should expect to see the Lancer Ralliart on sale in this country for around AUD 40,000.

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