Monday, January 21, 2008

The 235hp 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

This must be some of the best news I've heard in a long time. Mitsubishi's finally going to introduce a bona fide baby Evo, along the lines of the 200hp Lancer GSR of the 90s.

If it sets its sights on the new and fugly 220hp Subaru WRX 5-door hatch, it's going to be priced around S$90K in Singapore. And that's only S$15K more than a Honda Civic 2.0 and less than a mid-range Camry, Accord or Cefiro.

I might not be able to bring myself to splurge on a S$140K Evo X, but for $50K less, the 235hp Lancer Ralliart might just tweak my loins.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart - Road & Track

Mitsubishi's Lancer Ralliart bridges the gap between the economy-car-like Lancer and the ultra-hyper Lancer Evolution. The Ralliart uses the same 4B11 2.0-liter 16-valve turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder as the Evolution, but with a more modest (and estimated as of this time) 235 bhp and 253 lb.-ft. of torque. It also uses Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve timing and, get this: Like the Evo, the Ralliart will be fitted with a full-time all-wheel-drive system, employing Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD) with three driver-programmable settings: Tarmac, Gravel and Snow.

If that's not tech-geekie enough for you, how about the fact the Ralliart comes with Mitsubishi's awesome new Twin Clutch-SST gearbox (also as in the Evo) that allows the driver to shift manually via steering-column-mounted paddles. Or, it can simply be left in full automatic operation.

More aggressively styled front and rear bumpers, a dual exhaust and an aluminum hood with air intakes differentiate the Ralliart from the standard Lancer.

Basically, with the Lancer Ralliart, Mitsubishi is taking dead-aim at Subaru's Impreza WRX — looks to us like it's a direct hit.


follow trade in car blog said...

What you think about new Volvo hybrid?

sean-the-man said...

Is there anything particular to think about the Volvo hybrid?

For the same price, you can get a much faster, more powerful and more enjoyable car. So much for it's hybrid pretenses to performance.

And if you're swimming among the sharks at that price range (in Asia at least), you're financially immune to high petrol prices. So much for the fuel efficiency angle.

Personally, I see very little point to 'green' or 'environmental' cars that cost so damn much... to make and to own (which automatically raises it's carbon cost & footprint). A car's environmental performance is not just it's fuel consumption & emissions. It's also how much the manufacturer had to pollute to make it, and how much the buy had to pollute in order to be able to afford it.