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.