Detroit 2008: 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart... we're sold
Mitsubishi has made up for the crimes it perpetrated on enthusiasts with the last two generations of the Lancer Ralliart. In atonement for its sins, it's fitted the new Ralliart with a detuned version of the 4B11T pulled from the Evolution X, producing 235 hp and an unknown amount of torque. Additionally, Mitsubishi has decided to fit the Twin Clutch-SST transmission, pulled from the high-power and high-priced Evo X MR. The TC-SST clicks off the shifts through a set of steering wheel mounted paddles and sends power to a full-time all-wheel-drive system equipped with Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD).
The exterior is so reminiscent of the Ralliart's big Evolved brother that we're sure it'll be mistaken for the X and in addition to the absolutely boss Recaro buckets, the interior materials and amenities seem several notches above its base brethren.
On a personal note: As the guy that berated the Lancer ES in our recent Garage review, when the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart goes on sale this summer, I'll be one of the first ones in line. It's obvious that the Ralliart is aimed squarely at Subaru's WRX and if they can keep the price around the Subie's (about $25k), the Ralliart stands as one of the performance bargains of the decade. And just think of the mods....
Check Mitsubishi's full press release plus video after the jump and our gallery of live and press shots below.
The new Lancer Ralliart reinforces the sporty identity of the Lancer lineup (Lancer, Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Evolution) with aggressive styling and driving performance that creates a unique product between the Lancer GTS 2.4 and the Lancer Evolution models. The Lancer Ralliart makes effective use of the Lancer's rigid unibody and four-wheel independent suspension by mating this capable chassis to a turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive.
Lancer Ralliart is powered by the new 4B11 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged engine (also used in the Lancer Evolution) that develops an estimated 235 horsepower. The engine is mated to Mitsubishi's efficient Twin Clutch-SST gearbox that helps enhance the sporty nature of the vehicle by allowing the driver to execute lightning-quick, silky-smooth, paddle-actuated shifts. The TC-SST transmission also operates in fully automatic modes for Normal and Sport driving conditions.
The Lancer Ralliart's full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD). The ACD unit employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential, vectoring drive torque to the front and rear according to different driving conditions to realize the best balance between steering response and traction characteristics on Tarmac, Gravel, or Snow surfaces.
Lancer Ralliart is also equipped with front helical limited slip differential and a rear differential mechanical limited slip differential.
Elaborating on the basic sporty design and proportions of the Lancer, the Lancer Ralliart exterior is distinguished by its more aggressively styled front bumper design, rear bumper cover, dual outlet muffler and a lightweight aluminum, ducted hood that delivers cooling air to the turbocharger.
The interior design places greater emphasis on function and vehicle control. Lancer Ralliart is equipped with FAST key, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone interface, the same Twin Clutch-SST shifter used on Lancer Evolution, and easily accessible steering column mounted paddle shifters.
Available equipment and options to include: Recaro seats, HID headlights, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system, Sirius satellite radio, power sunroof, and a 30-gigabyte hard drive navigation system with digital music server.
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