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Mitsubishi Hatchback Lancer news - Diamond 'Back - 2008

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The
Geneva motor show may be over a month away, but we’re already looking forward
to it. Because we’re going to see this: the Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype-S.

And,
if these sketches are anything to go by, it’s going to look awesome. The
Prototype-S previews a hatch version of the new Mitsubishi Lancer set to go on
sale in the UK this autumn, called the Sportback.

Although
Mitsu describes the Sportback as a competitor for the Alfa 159 Sportwagon -
indicating that it falls into the estate category - the rear end looks much
more conventionally hatch-ish to us: indeed, that slanted, rakish rear end
reminds us of the current Focus five-door. 

The
Sportback is expected to account for 80 per cent of Lancer sales in the UK -
the rest being saloons - and aims the Lancer squarely at the new hatchbacked
 Impreza.

If
the powertrain of Prototype-S is anything to go by, the Impreza WRX ought to be
worried: the Mitsubishi puts out 237bhp from its two-litre turbo engine, 10bhp
up on the WRX.

Naturally,
the Sportback will get Mitsubishi’s full-time four-wheel-drive system with
active centre diff, as well as the Evo’s twin-clutch SST gearbox.

However,
don’t expect to see the full-blown Evo in hatch form - sadly, the hottest
Lancer will remain saloon-only. Which is a pity, because a car this
good-looking deserves - nay, demands - the full Evo treatment.

We’ll
let you know if the Prototype-S lives up to expectations from the show floor in
 Geneva.

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