• Jan 25th 2008 at 7:56AM
  • 34
Click the image above for a high-res gallery.

Our new friend Dan sent us a few sketches of what's supposedly the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, a near production-ready version of the Sportback Concept that debut back in 2005. Although we're not sure if these are official images out of Mitsu-HQ, they're very similar to some of the concept sketches we've seen in the past.

This new shot stays true to the original Sportback concept's profile and lines, but comes complete with a front clip that's more reminiscent of the rest of the Lancer line and a rear end that looks far more feasible for production. When the hatch finally makes it to dealers, likely sometime later this year, expect power to come from a 2.4-liter four, with an Evo version getting the same turbocharged 2.0-liter and all-wheel-drive system from its four-door sibling. And if Mitsubishi is smart, and decides to bring the hatch to the States, a Ralliart version to compete with the Subaru Impreza WRX five-door should be in the cards.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      This will NOT sell in the US. People are too paranoid about breakins. They want a lockable trunk. Example: Jetta vs. Golf. Lots more if you look. It doesn't bother us. We have a Mazda6 wagon and a 3 Speed hatch. The rest of the country isn't interested. Afraid, in fact. Numbers don't lie.
        • 7 Years Ago
        WTF are you talking about? Break-ins, seriously? I guess that's why the Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in the country, right? If someone's going to break into a hatch, they're one lever pull away from breaking into a sedan and popping the trunk. Besides, most break-ins I know of are to steal stereo equipment (usually not in the trunk).

        I'll give you Jetta v. Golf, but I'd bet the GTI outsells the GLI. And the 3 hatch, MS3, and Mini have obviously done pretty well for themselves.

        After 20-some-odd years of SUVs, I don't think Americans have the aversion to hatchbacks they once did. I know I, for one, will never buy another car with a trunk. I like my cars small and nimble, but I want that cargo capacity.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The sales figures don't lie. While you and I may have hatches/wagons, the rest of the country doesn't. Example: In four years of excellent sales, Mazda sold only 16k 6 wagons, and even fewer 6- 5 doors. Ask your dealer why. And Jettas outsell Golf/Rabbits by many times over.
        The perception is also one of cheapness, as most hatches are cheap fastbacks, such as the late, unlamented Pinto and Vega.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Americans buy millions of hatchbacks. They are just jacked up in the air to give the owners ego a boost....SUV/CUV
        • 7 Years Ago

        Yea, soccer moms really need an ego boost...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Remember the original lancer concepts? I always wondered what had happened to their sexiness . . .
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd prefer a two-door hatch, but this looks nice. More space, and better visibility compared to the sedan version with its big rear spoiler.
      That looks like the hood from the Ralliart, maybe that's the plan for it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Break-ins? I guess only if you live in the city or a high crime area. In many areas of the country (and I live in the NorthEastern US), we still don't always lock our doors in our cars and/or homes.

      I believe your exaggeration about people in the US don't buy hatchbacks out of fear of break-in is just very mis-informed. I would like to think that most US residents don't live in fear of being accosted or having their items stolen on a day to day basis. This is almost as much of a hysteria viewpoint espoused by neo-cons about constant threat of so called terrorists, when in reality the so-called government clamp down on our rights to protect is as the actual terrorism.

      Long story short and back on to topic, people don't buy hatches as much in the US because there isn't a large selection of them in comparison to sedans and coup├ęs. Not to mention Americans have this horrible notion that they need a 5000 lbs vehicle to haul all of their belongings around when in reality what they need is to put those items in their home, garage or trash and buy a real vehicle that transports them, not half of their possessions, around.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like this a lot. IMO, the rear on this illustration is better than what Mitsu has on the non-hatch lancers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Somebody should tell Subaru that rally cars don't need to beat beaten with an ugly stick. Game over for the WRX with this thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Theres just something about the back, i cant quite put my finger on it...i think its infinity fx....but its not....

      Well, I dont think Mitsu should rely solely on previous sales numbers to determine the fate of the Sportback in the US. They should work some marketing marvel and make them sell like bread (whole wheat, since its Mitsubishi)...but who knows, the world has been thinking more healthy....

      I actually like what there doing with the lancer.....all these models off one great platform...i still believe the concept -RA should be off this platform.

      All in all the back looks US designed, but overall its an excellent package. Well, thats what we all think but hey, look who posted the blog (Damon Lavrinc) who also gave the base lancer one of the worst reviews ive ever seen for ANY car,...so il wait to see if his (misinformed) percption is altered
      • 7 Years Ago
      Give me a turbo diesel option and my nerdgasm will be complete.

      Otherwise, it's a beautiful car (especially in RalliArt form). Please bring it to production and to showrooms as fast as possible!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tighten the wheelbase
      Add the EVO running gear
      Shed two doors
      Sell it to me
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok, this looks exactly the same as the one from 2005, which is mentioned in the article. I dont see the point of doing a concetp, then releasing sketches for it two years later, before introducing it again, this time as a supposedly production version. The original concept had a comparatively long wheelbase, very short overhangs, a very low profile and rie height, and LED headlights on top of that. The production version will have none of these, as can be seen on the production lancer evo x, which look so much worse than its concept car. I would go ahead and say that this will in no way eat any of Subaru's sales, since time has shown that people don't buy Imprezas based on looks alone (the previous generations were not beauties either). My 2 cents.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Rallyart/Evo are on my shortlist when I replace my GTI in a few years. The Subaru... not so much. But both need more gears with a manual transmission.

      It's hard to say from this picture, artists always make nice looking cars. I hope the hatch is useful and doesn't ruin the headroom for the back seats.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is what a five-door fastback is supposed to look like.

      Wagons have vertical rear doors, 5-doors have this sort of thing, also like Mazda 6's 5-door body style.

      I like Subaru drivetrain, but this has impreza 5-door beat handily on looks alone.
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