Set to officially debut in production-spec at the Paris Motorshow in October, Mitsubishi got a little too excited and just had to give us a proper gander before then.
The car's final shape, while not quite as spankalicious as the silver concept shown a couple of years ago, is still clearly influenced by the concept's curves. Expected to go on sale in Europe early next year, there's no word yet on when it'll reach Aussie shores. Considering the headstart the Impreza WRX has had over the Lancer Ralliart Sportback, one would think it'd be sooner rather than later.
Photos and full press release after ze jump, ya.
Mitsubishi Motors unveils Lancer Sportback at Paris Motor Show
Tokyo, June 11 2008 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will unveil, for the first time at an international motor show, the Lancer Sportback at the Le Mondial de l'Automobile 2008 (Paris Motor Show 2008) being held in Halls 1-8 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from October 2 (October 4 for the general public) through October 19. The Lancer Sportback will have its European launch this fall with a phased introduction into the various countries in the region.
The company will also be displaying the Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Sportback Ralliart models that are based on the Lancer sports sedan and Lancer Sportback. These models are powered by a turbocharged engine mated to Mitsubishi's Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission) and delivering power to all four wheels through an Active Center Differential.
With its inverted-slant nose and trapezoidal grille that defines the Mitsubishi Motors design identity the sporty Lancer Sportback is a 5-door sport hatchback, a body type that is very popular in Europe. The model is available in versions powered by 1.5-liter (109PS) or 1.8-liter (143PS) gasoline engines or by a 2.0-liter (140PS) turbo diesel engine. The Lancer Sportback offers an "auto-folding function" which enhances luggage compartment convenience through adjustable rear floor height and rear seatbacks that can be tipped forward via a lever located in the luggage compartment. The series is due to be joined by a model powered by Mitsubishi Motors' new diesel engine in spring of 2009.
The Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Sportback Ralliart models use a new turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC MIVEC*2 engine [maximum output 177 kW (240PS), maximum torque 343 Nm (35 kgm)]. This is mated to Mitsubishi's high-efficiency Twin Clutch SST transmission with an Active Center Differential, for extremely responsive steering and traction through tailoring the amount of torque fed to each wheel to optimally suit driving conditions. Also helping to significantly raise the basic performance attributes of these cars over the Lancer base model are 2-pot caliper front brakes and a larger brake master cylinder.