Mitsubishi Australia announced the release of its new 2008 CJ Lancer on Friday and are claiming it sets a new safety benchmark in the Australian small car segment with the inclusion of Active Stability Control (ASC) as standard fitment across the entire Lancer range.
A commendable move by Mitsubishi that puts the good looking newcomer in a prime position to shake-up the small car segment with its stylish design, nimble performance and industry leading safety standards at an affordable price point. In addition to the Active Stability Control and Traction Control, all Lancers feature an ABS braking system with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist.
Passive safety features include a total of seven airbags being optional on all 2008 Mitsubishi Lancers - entry level ES models receive standard SRS driver and passenger airbags and driver knee airbag, with side and curtain airbags an affordable option. All other Lancer models - dubbed VR and VRX variants - receive the full seven-airbag pack as standard fitment.
In addition to the full compliment of airbags the Lancer also includes Mitsubishi's acclaimed RISE body structure, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters and five height adjustable headrests.
The good news is the incredibly competitive pricing with Mitsubishi Australia revealing that, like the entire Mitsubishi range, the recommended retail pricing for the new Lancer will be sharp, very competitive and will start from just $20,990 for the ES model - and that includes the standard ASTC.
Launching the vehicle in Canberra this week, Robert McEniry, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited, confirmed the all-new Lancer's industry-leading specification levels and aggressive pricing structure was designed to make an impact on the Australian vehicle market.
"The inclusion of ASTC across the entire Lancer line-up, and the availability of seven airbags on each and every model is unprecedented, at this price point, in this segment. The all-new Lancer now offers Australian consumers a small car jam-packed with every safety specification available to us, with great looks and performance - it's simply a winning combination", said Mr McEniry.
The all-new Lancer is built on Mitsubishi's most ambitious automotive project ever - its first global platform. Already successfully previewed with the second generation Outlander, this new global platform represents a multi-million dollar investment for the company.
Conceived and developed at Mitsubishi Design in Europe, the all-new Lancer takes its design cues from the Concept-Sportback and Concept-X show cars exhibited at the 2005 Frankfurt and Tokyo shows respectively. Its low stance, long hood and short deck proportions, wide track, trademark "Jet Fighter" grille and distinctively deep set "eyes", help to make the new Lancer arguably the most attractive car in its class and most definately a massive threat to the new Subaru Impreza hatch.
The new Lancer is built on a longer wheelbase and wider track with a 60mm increase in both the front and rear track dimensions which Mitsubishi claims contributes to Lancer's, ?solid, stable handling capability as well as its strong visual presence?.
The increased dimensions of the vehicle's exterior have not been wasted - a combination of clever packaging and intuitive design has ensured these larger dimensions make a direct translation to the interior of the vehicle. The result is the all-new Lancer offers customers a well-appointed interior with a functional, uncluttered and spacious cabin.
Under the bonnet is an all-new 2.0-litre dual overhead cam MIVEC four-cylinder engine delivering 113kW of power @ 6000 rpm and 198 Nm of torque at 4250 rpm standard on all models. Mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or optional Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Sport Mode and INVECS III software, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer delivers flexible, responsive and economical motoring. The sports oriented VRX model offers a steering wheel mounted paddle shift on the CVT transmission.
The 2008 Lancer ES and VR models are fitted with standard sixteen inch wheels (alloy on VR) and 205/60 R16 tyres along with a brake package that includes fifteen inch ventilated discs in front and fourteen inch solid discs in rear. The range-topping VRX variant adds a special sport-tuned suspension package, eighteen inch wheels with 215/45 R18 tyres and sixteen inch ventilated front disc brakes and sixteen inch solid rear discs.
The new Lancer is available in three variants with the entry-level ES offering all the safety and engineering features listed before along with three-way adjustable driver's seat, central locking, front and rear power windows, sixty/forty split fold rear seat, air-conditioning, FM/AM Tuner with CD and MP3 compatibility, cruise control with steering mounted controls, as well as plenty of storage spaces and cup holders.
The mid-range VR model includes all the ES specifications and builds in further features including, side and curtain airbags, dusk sensing headlamps, rain sensing wipers, alloy wheels, front fog lamps, lip spoiler, leather wrapped steering wheel, six CD stacker with remote steering mounted controls and the option of a sunroof.
The range-topping VRX model takes the standard specifications of the VR model and adds sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, front air dam, rear spoiler, eighteen inch wheels, sport type front seats and fabric, unique panel and door trim, paddle shifts (CVT model only), Smart Key entry and Bluetooth hands-free phone with steering wheel controls. Options include the sunroof from the VR model as well as an optional Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio system with nine speakers.
All 2008 model Lancers are available in a wide-ranging palette of modern colours, including Effect Grey, Lightening Blue, Red, Black, Mystic Blue, Champagne, Cool Silver and White.
The good news for enthusiasts is that Mitsubishi have confimed that the next 18 months will see the arrival of the Evo X along with two Ralliart sports variants with a hatchback line-up also due to join the Lancer range.
Models, Pricing and Warranty
ALL NEW LANCER RECOMENDED RETAIL PRICING
5 year or 130,000km* Factory Warranty
? Bumper to bumper 5 year or 130,000km* Factory Warranty
? Fully transferable to new owners inside the warranty period.
10 year or 160,000km Powertrain Warranty? .
Mitsubishi's 10 year or 160,000km* Powertrain Warranty? also applies on the following components:
? Turbo charger
? Water pump
? Engine transmission mounts
? Transmission/transaxle (auto/manual)
? 4WD transfer case
? Propeller shaft
? Drive shafts and axles
The all-new Lancer line-up will be available at Mitsubishi dealers nationally from October 1st.
See below for the full image gallery.