The next Mitsubishi Lancer will be the first vehicle from the company to be offered with a continuously variable transmission when it goes on sale next March. The CVT will be paired with a 2.4L version of the World Engine that Mitsubishi helped develop in conjunction with Hyundai and Daimler Chrysler.

AutoWeek reports that Mitsubishi is using the CVT as a relatively inexpensive way to increase fuel economy. The new tranny could improve the Lancer's fuel economy by up to 20 percent. The move will give the struggling Japanese automaker an attractive product in its portfolio for those seeking efficiency over performance.

Other notable items that AutoWeek mentioned include the fact that Mitsubishi isn't developing a hybrid because it would be just too expensive to develop. The company is, however, planning to offer a diesel in the U.S. by 2010 and is also working on creating flex-fuel engines capable of running E85.

[Source: AutoWeek]