Sam Philip13 June 2008

Sexyback?

Mitsubishi aims for the hatch market with Lancer Sportback

Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

A long way off it may be, but Mitsubishi will unveil the production version of its Lancer Sportback at the Paris Motorshow this October.

That's 'Sportback' as in, erm, 'hatch' - Mitsubishi is attempting to steal ground on the Impreza (as well as the rest of the burgeoning hatch market) by offering a five-door version of its usually-a-saloon Lancer.

The Lancer Sportback will launch with the choice of three engines - 1.5- and 1.8-litre petrol units and a two-litre turbodiesel - with another diesel engine to follow next spring.

More excitingly, we'll also see the Lancer Sportback Ralliart, featuring a turbocharged two-litre petrol engine developing 237bhp - essentially a detuned version of the Evo X's powerplant. It'll put its power to all four-wheels through Mitsu's twin-clutch SST transmission, with an Evo-derived active centre diff apportioning torque to the wheels that can use it.

A saloon version of the Ralliart is also imminent, but there's no word yet on an Evo Sportback. Which is a pity.

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