Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Lancer, good. Lancer Sportback, better. Lancer Sportback Ralliart, better still. The hatchified version of Mitsubishi's Lancer was confirmed earlier this year to go on sale as a 2010 model. For the first two-thirds, it's a normal Lancer, but out back there's a smidge of extra length and a newly fattened C-Pillar for the practical hatch profile. Not only is it sporting smart-looking hatchy excellence, the Lancer Sportback glowers at the Subaru Impreza and says "bring it."

Tweaking an Impreza's nose is best done when you're rocking the $27,590 Lancer Sportback Ralliart. The entry GTS serves up the style and utility for a reasonable $19,190, but the 2.4-liter four cylinder's 168 horsepower, while good, doesn't exactly get enthusiast blood boiling. If you want your Sportback GTS to shift itself, it will start at $20,190 and pack a CVT with magnesium shift paddles and six fixed ratios to emulate more conventional transmissions.

Real performance isn't the exclusive domain of the Evo. In fact, the Lancer Sportback Ralliart is something of a 2/3 Evo, running an underachieving version of that car's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine spitting out 237 horsepower through all four wheels either via a twin-clutch paddle-shifted six-speed. More hatches are always good, and more higher-performance hatches are even more welcome. Get all the details in the press release after the jump.


Related Gallery2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Related Gallery2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback




PRESS RELEASE

Mitsubishi Motors Announces Pricing for Versatile Five-Door Lancer Sportback; Newest Model Begins Arriving in Dealerships Aug. 17

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today announced pricing for its newest addition to the multiple award-winning Lancer lineup - the versatile five-door 2010 Lancer Sportback GTS and Ralliart. The Lancer Sportback carries with it similar distinctive and aggressive styling as the rally-inspired Lancer Evolution, yet with greater flexibility to accommodate active lifestyles.

The economical Lancer Sportback GTS features Mitsubishi's efficient 2.4-liter engine with 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. MSRP for the GTS with a five-speed manual transmission is $19,190, while the six-speed CVT automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters starts at an MSRP of $20,190.

The Lancer Sportback Ralliart is powered by Mitsubishi's 2.0-liter MIVEC turbocharged engine that pumps out 237 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque. All-Wheel Control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD) is standard, as is the quick-shifting six-speed Twin Clutch-Sportronic® Shift Transmission (TC-SST) and magnesium paddle shifters that it shares with the high performance Lancer Evolution. The Lancer Sportback Ralliart starts at an MSRP of $27,590.

"Today's new car buyers are moving toward smaller, fuel efficient cars, and yet, there is still a need for cargo capacity. The Lancer Sportback's carrying capacity, coupled with a more aggressive design than contemporary hatchbacks, perfectly fills the void," explains Bryan Arnett, manager of product strategy of MMNA.

Mitsubishi designers created a dynamic and fluid shape for the Sportback that is instantly recognizable as a Lancer from the front, with its signature "jet fighter" grille, while being completely fresh from the C-pillar rearward. The sleek sloping rear door with integrated roof wing creates a visually distinctive shape while making the Lancer significantly more versatile. The door extends down to the rear bumper to make loading cumbersome objects like surfboards, camping gear and bicycles as easy as possible.

The Lancer Sportback's overall length is just slightly longer than the Lancer four-door sedan, yet it gains substantial cargo-carrying flexibility--especially when the 60:40-split rear seats are folded flat by its one-touch auto-folding feature. To add still more volume, the rear cargo floor of the GTS can be cleverly lowered three inches, yielding 52.7 cubic ft. maximum cargo space. The roof will also conveniently accommodate a plug-in Thule® Sport Rack for additional flexibility.

Premium interior features like those found on the Lancer sedans are also part of the Sportback's resume. Key components in the Ralliart version include a standard 140-watt CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers or an available 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Sound System, in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability, plus Sirius Satellite Radio. A hard disc-drive navigation system with Mitsubishi's exclusive Diamond Lane Guidance to provide route guidance is optional, as are Recaro sport seats that provide optimal support for the driver and front passenger.

Safety Features
Standard safety features in all Lancer models include an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags, plus a driver's knee air bag. Active Stability Control (ASC) also comes on every Lancer Sportback, and the GTS is equipped with Reinforced Impact Safety Engineering (RISE), a unibody construction designed to help absorb energy in a collision. Every Lancer Sportback has a built-in Anti-Theft system with immobilizer key, and the Touring Package adds HID (high intensity discharge) headlamps.

Premium Warranty
The 2010 Lancer Sportback GTS and Ralliart have comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranties. The GTS comes with a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty with a fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile warranty for subsequent owners, and a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The Ralliart offers a fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain package and a 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Both the GTS and Ralliart come with a 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty and 5-year unlimited miles Roadside Assistance benefits.