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Sydney show: Lancer’s hatch dispatch

Sales back: The Lancer Sportback gives Mitsubishi a chance at scaling back the Toyota Corolla’s commanding sales lead.

Mitsubishi extends its successful Lancer range with five doors and a Ralliart turbo

9 Oct 2008

MITSUBISHI’S best chance at reeling in the hugely popular Toyota Corolla received a big boost today at the Australian International Motor Show with the unveiling of the Lancer Sportback and turbocharged Ralliart edition.

The Sportback is a hatch version of the successful CJ Lancer sedan and the first five-door Lancer since the CC version was discontinued in July 1996, while the latter is Mitsubishi’s answer to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Both cars were unveiled in Sydney this morning just days after making their sales debut at Paris. The French show reflects the European flavour that Mitsubishi has attempted to instill in its global small-car contender.

Pricing and specification for the volume-selling Sportback are identical to the corresponding mainstream Lancer sedan, meaning that the base ES Sportback kicks off at $20,990 and includes a 113kW/198Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam petrol engine mated to either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Dual front and side airbags, electronic stability control and traction control, and ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist are also included in every Sportback.

While the mid-range 2.0-litre VR and 125kW/226Nm 2.4-litre VR-X variants are also available, there will be no Sportback version of the 2.4-litre ‘luxury’ flagship Lancer Aspire sedan for the time being.

21 center imageMeanwhile, the $42,490 Ralliart version of the Lancer sedan and Sportback brought more colour to the Sydney show today, featuring a detuned version of the Lancer Evolution’s intercooled and turbocharged 2.0-litre MIVEC four-cylinder petrol engine.

This unit bestows the Ralliart with 177kW of power at 6000rpm and 343Nm of torque at 4750rpm, and brings with it Mitsubishi’s Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST) that was previously only available in the Evolution.

Other Evo items found on the Ralliart include all-wheel drive with active centre differential and electronic control (with console mounted switch) and rear mechanical limited slip differential.

Mitsubishi has further beefed-up the Ralliart with a “high performance” version of the Lancer’s MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension set-up, featuring front and rear anti-roll bars and a front strut tower bar.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia president Robert McEniry is confident the Ralliart will snare its own small car performance niche alongside the likes of the Golf GTI, Focus XR5 Turbo and even Mini Cooper S.

“This is a segment where we have not competed before, and a segment which represents an incredible opportunity for Mitsubishi,” he said.

Finally, also debuting on Mitsubishi’s stand in Sydney earlier today was a special performance edition of the Triton.

Dubbed the Fastback, it is a development akin to the Triton Panther concept displayed at this year’s Melbourne International Motor Show, which featured larger wheels and tyres, a striking bodykit and lashings of chrome.

Read more:

Mitsu hatches Lancer plan

First look: Lancer Sportback set for Paris debut

GoAuto can help you buy a new Lancer

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