• Feb 26, 2008
Click for more hi-res images of the Mitsubishi Prototype S

Autobild spilled the beans over the weekend, and today, Mitsubishi lifted the embargo on its Geneva-bound Prototype S, which is basically the forthcoming Lancer Sportback in light concept trim. Beneath the hatchback's skin lies the powertrain used in in the new US-market Lancer Ralliart -- 240 horses, dual-clutch, full-time AWD, and active center differential. It's anyone's guess whether Mitsubishi will elect to offer it outside Europe, where the body style is sure to be a bread-and-butter seller. We certainly wouldn't turn it away, though; there's always room for more hatchbacks with "go." Check out the new high-res shots in the attached gallery, and Mitsu's official release after the jump.


[Source: Mitsubishi]

PRESS RELEASE:
Mitsubishi Motors lineup at 2008 Geneva International Motor Show
Prototype-S

Tokyo, February 26, 2008- Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is to give the Prototype-S sport hatchback concept its global debut at the 78th Geneva International Motor Show which runs from March 4 through March 16 at the Geneva Palexpo exhibition and conference complex (opening to the general public on March 6). Also included in Mitsubishi Motors' 16-model stand (13 on Press Days) are: the i MiEV (dubbed the i-EV in Europe) and the Lancer Evolution (Lancer Evolution X on the Japanese market). The i MiEV is a new-generation electric vehicle under evaluation for export to international markets and currently undergoing fleet monitoring in Japan; Lancer Evolution is a new-generation high-performance 4WD sedan that allows all drivers to experience enjoy the highest levels of fun-to-drive performance safely and with confidence.

Making its global debut at the Geneva Show, the Prototype-S is derived from the Lancer sports sedan (Galant Fortis on the Japanese market) currently on sale in most Mitsubishi Motors markets worldwide.

Distinguished by the inverted-slant nose with trapezoidal grille front fascia that comprise the Mitsubishi Motors new design identity, and with purposeful, wide-and-low proportions; Prototype-S uses exterior lines to craft a shape that is powerful and sporty. The use of 215/45R19 tires on 19-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels adds to the tautly muscular and road-hugging image the styling projects.

Prototype-S uses a new 2.0-liter MIVEC*1 4-cylinder DOHC intercooled / turbocharged engine, developing maxima of 240 PS and 35 kg-m that will also power the Lancer Ralliart due to go on sale in North America in the summer of 2008. The power unit is mated to Mitsubishi Motors's high-efficiency Twin Clutch SST*2 automated manual transmission that gives the driver simple control of and feel-good access to the car's exhilaratingly sporty performance. The full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi Motors' Active Center Differential (ACD) that uses an electronically controlled multi-plate hydraulic clutch to optimally tailor front / rear drive torque vectoring to different driving conditions and deliver the best balance between steering response and traction.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      What happened to those "Made In China" plastic parts inside? It actually looks like a decent interior. Are you sure it is Mitsubishi?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Since when is a $16,000ish 132 hp sedan (Corolla) in the same class as a $24,000ish 240hp hatch?
          • 6 Years Ago
          @Dinger

          The base Lancer and Evo have--seats excepting--the same interior. The base Lancer is a Corolla competitor. If Toyota stuffed the RAV4 V6's drivetrain into the Corolla and tightened the suspension _a lot_, they'd have a similar product, only the Corolla's interior is much nicer than the Lancer's, so it'd be more palatable.

          The problem with the Lancer's interior isn't that it's outright awful. It's that it's sort-of acceptable at ~15-19K in the DE model, but it gets really hard to swallow in the much more expensive Evo.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @psarhjinian
        I hear what you are saying, however, I still disagree with you.

        First of all you say that the “base” Lancer…

        Only the concept we are talking about is not a base Lancer. It’s a 240hp Ralliart version.

        Second you say that the interior of the Lancer, while okay at the lower DE price, is not acceptable in the price range of the Evo.

        But what is the price range of the Evo? Everything in the price range of an Evo is simply not comparable.

        A striper BMW 3-series? Sure it has a better interior but it’s missing about 80hp and AWD.

        A tricked out V6 Honda Accord? Again, nice interior but it’s missing about 30 ponies and is the size of a battleship.

        The Evo is about raw power. It’s about taking a base level car and infusing it with silly performance capabilities. It’s not about having a sophisticated luxurious ride, and Mitsubishi has never pretended that it was.

        Saying that the Ralliart/Evo is bad because better interiors can be had at its price point is like saying that the M3 is bad because the LS460 offers more trunk space.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As someone who has been disappointed in every GM car up to (but not including) the Lambdas and Malibu, I tell you this:

        In the era of Photoshop, press photos tell you nothing about interior quality.

        That said, the Lancer isn't that bad (compared to, say, the Caliber, which is patently awful). The plastics are really hard, but the design and fit is okay and the ergonomics are actually rather good. The problem the Lancer has is that the Rabbit, Corolla, Civic and 3 set the bar really high for this class.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Change the leather to black and its perfect. Hey Mitsu the design of the base Lancer interior is great but the materials should have been better. For '10 add a bit of this to the lower class and sales will take off.

      They cut the roofline back so sharply because of the structure of the car. They just chopped the trunk off of the sedan and attached a hatch. The body structure of the new lancer platform is amazing. Adding a square hatch would have probably caused a major change in the underpinnings.

      As for the DSC automatic a lot of car mags have been raving about it. They say it is a fantastic system that works better than any automatic transmission out there and still has a full manual mode. It is the perfect blend of a manual transmission and something that is livable in rush hour traffic. Check the latest issue of Road and Track.

      I knew I should have waited for the Ralliart but I needed a new car last April.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Where can I place my order, sir?

      I want that brown interior. That looks absolutly sick to me. I love it! :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I save money over 2 years to buy this car and dont look like the model I saw in 2005. Please Mitsubishi, put the 2005 Sportback Concept in production! If you do not know that I am talking about, here are some links of that model.
      http://farm1.static.flickr.com/183/479738271_c4dc4ee108_o.jpg
      http://farm1.static.flickr.com/177/479724174_c09f863283_o.jpg
      http://farm1.static.flickr.com/216/479737969_207917d8a6_o.jpg
        • 6 Years Ago
        * Martini! How sweet it is!!!

        You are sooo correct sir, YES!

        Now, this should weigh less than the X.
        AND if they place the EVO 400HP+ engine, this baby should go like a bat outa hell!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Now that's HOT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this looks fantastic! Looks like the Honda Civic Type R hatchback that they have in Europe. Very sporty looking. The Mazda3 and Impreza look too much like station wagons when compared to this. Not that I don't mind them, but this thing just SCREAMS sexy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What is not to understand about this???


      This is a 5-door sedan. This is NOT a stunted growth wagon. This looks more to me like a Mazda6 five-door like car, but a bit smaller.

      The Impreza and Mazda3, Audi A3, and other 5-door hatchbacks are more wagon style.

      I love the idea of a sedan bodystyle that can actually swallow a box for a new TV, or a sliding compound miter saw.

      The saw I just bought didn't fit in my Legacy sedan's trunk by 1". The trunk volume was plenty. The trunk opening was too tight.

      The rear window bottom edge, vs the top edge of the rear bumper define the trunk opening, and were BARELY too tight. So it went into the back seat through the rear side door.

      A hatchback, like this, or the Mazda6 would have solved it, probably without even putting the rear seats down, which my 05 Legacy doesn't folding rear seats either, but later 07+ ones do.

      The Subaru Legacy is a faster car than the 6 five-door, and probably more comfortable than the Lancer platform, and this isn't even out yet, let alone possibly confirmed for the US market, so I by no means regret my purchase in the least.

      But I do hope that 5-door sedans start catching on. That is the one thing I wish my Legacy came off the drawing board with that it doesn't have.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You will be mine..... oh yes, you will be mine.

      That interior is awesome. Something different and unique for a change.

      Get this car here quickly, Mitsubishi.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks great, but if I had to nitpick..

      Spoiler can go
      Redesign tail-lamps
      Sell to Canadians (It's ok poor Mitsu, we love hunchbacks... er hatchbacks up here, eh!)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. I quite like the Lancer (the GTS drives well, good ergonomics) and, in Canada, the Mitsu warranty is a really appealing pull factor.

        I just can't bring myself to buy a sedan, though, and the Outlander is a bit too large. I've had to many "just let me fold the seats down!" moments where a hatch has saved me pain.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love hatchbacks. This is pretty cool The only thing I do not like at all is the tail lights. I loath chrome on tail lights. I like the sedans sharp angled tail lights and no chrome much better
      • 6 Years Ago
      Give us a real wagon with "WAGON" on a chrome badge, not this trans-gender mess.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just got back from the Cleveland Autoshow. They had 2 EVO Xs you could sit in and a Lancer Ralliart preproduction on a stand.

      EVO X has far better interior materials than the base Lancer. Steering wheel is great and the center stack and dash plastics are higher quality. I found the Recaro seats to be a bit too narrow but I am 6'2". They were not uncomfortable though.

      I talked with a Mitsubishi technical rep about the Ralliart and he let me take a look inside. The Ralliart has the same interior as the EVO minus a few switches. The diagnostic LCD guage doesn't have as much information. Seats are the same Recaro models. The DSC gearbox will have two modes that are selectable, Standard (automode) and Sport (Manual Mode). The special SuperSport mode available in the EVO will noe be selectable due to clutch wear.

      He told me that the closest price he was allowed to give me was $24k to start, $1500-2000 for Sun&Sound. He expects them to be in very limited numbers and dealers to add substantial markup. Probably looking at $30k for a Lancer Ralliart in the first year.

      My local Mitsu guy at the show told me they just got two EVOs in stock at the dealership. Price is set at $40k for the MR but I could get $2000 off with loyalty and Autoshow bonus cash. Still a significant premium over the base price.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm usually a huge fan of hatchbacks, but this really doesn't do much for me; The rear doesn't look very stylish - a bit dated. It reminds me a bit of a late 90's Saab 900... and not in a good way.

      I actually like the Impreza hatch better and I think Mazda did a much better job of "hatch"-ing their cars than this.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed -- the Mazda 3 is still the best looking hatch. And the Subaru is the worst looking, unfortunately.
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