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

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In a letter issued to its customers, Ralliart, a Japanese high-performance subsidiary of Mitsubishi, has announced that it is closing its doors. The company's business case has apparently faded, a victim of the wilting domestic aftermarket scene as well as its lack of continued motorsports involvement.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart

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

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

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Click above for more spy shots of the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Colt Ralliart Version R Special.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Mitsubishi Prototype-S.

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click above image to view more high-res images of the Lancer Ralliart

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It's been generally accepted that the sales success of the first generation Subaru Impreza WRX caused Mitsubishi to rethink its policy of keeping the Evo off U.S.-bound boats. The Evolution's introduction in the States was quickly followed by the STI's, and all was right in the AWD performance segment. Not quite. Mitsubishi needs a direct competitor to the base WRX and as we've seen already, the Ralliart moniker is coming back, and it won't be limited to a couple of stickers and 15-inch O.Z. whe

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Our Nipponese friends from Nihon Car just attended the imaginatively named "Motor Sport Japan 2007" event and came across the new Mitsubishi Evolution X sporting some Ralliart duds. Although they weren't able to pry any details from the tight-lipped Mitsubishi PR flacks, they were able to run around the car with a video camera and compiled the snippets into a brief montage.

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Everyone's attention so far has been on the Evo, but the AWD turbocharged terror won't be the only hot Lancer model in Mitsubishi's updated fleet. Previous reports suggested that a cheaper WRX-rival was in the works, complete with a turbocharged engine and AWD configuration, and this latest Ralliart prototype spotted in California's Death Valley seems to back up those reports.

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Autocar is reporting that Subaru will volly a strike against Mitsubishi in early April when it debuts the all-new Impreza at the New York Auto Show. The body style will be a five-door hatchback with styling similar to that of the B5 TPH concept that first appeared last year in Tokyo. Power will reportedly come from your choice of a 1.5L or 2.0L flat-four boxer engine. Autocar's shocker is that the popular WRX model that slots between the everyday Imprezas and the high performance STi model will

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Click image for 4 more photos in our gallery

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The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Dakar rally team has completed its shakedown sessions and is ready to advance to the pre-race scrutineering and documentation on January 4-5. The race itself kicks off from Lisbon on January 6, and will mark the competition debut of the new Mitsubishi MPR13 rally cars, which are based on the newly-restyled Pajero SUV.

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