UPDATE: Press release posted after the jump. Full specs included.

Edmunds' Straightline just went on a late night assault, revealing pictures of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer. The debut is well ahead of the car's official unveiling next month in Detroit, although the website provided a fair amount of details about the underpinnings of Mitsubishi's newest sedan.

The vehicle is shorter overall, but noticeably wider, when sized up next to the outgoing model and is build off of the same platform that underpins the Outlander SUV. The base model will be powered by a 152 HP, 2-liter, inline four, mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT that will allow drivers to choose from six, pre-selected ratios, controlled by a set of magnesium shift paddles.

Sales will begin sometime in early 2007 and will be available in DE, ES or GTS trim.

More pics after the jump and more information to follow. Watch this space.

[Source: Edmunds' Insideline]

CYPRESS, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) will introduce, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, the all-new, 2008 Lancer compact sport sedan, delivering driven-to-thrill dynamics, "class-up" value, advanced safety and available cutting-edge user-technology in an aggressively styled package. The new-generation Lancer models arrive in Mitsubishi dealerships in early 2007.

The 2008 Lancer brings the bold, dynamic lines of the show-stopping Mitsubishi Concept-X to the showroom. First shown in 2005, the stunning Concept X previewed not only the next generation Mitsubishi compact sport sedan, but also a new design language to convey an unmistakable brand identity. A "shark-nosed" front end inspired by jet fighter air intakes, a distinct wedge-like profile and crisp, taut lines highlight the Lancer's exciting new design.

The 2008 Lancer is based on a new performance-engineered global platform that also forms the foundation of the new Mitsubishi Outlander SUV. It has a longer wheelbase and wider track, but slightly shorter overall length than the previous model. All Lancer models are powered by an all-new 2.0-liter 152 hp aluminum DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine (143 hp PZEV in Calif.) teamed to a 5-speed manual transmission. The new Lancer is the first Mitsubishi in North America to offer an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). When equipped with the CVT, the Lancer GTS exclusively features a 6-step Sportronic(R) mode using magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer will be available in three levels of trim and driving dynamics: DE, ES and the sport-tuned GTS.

Key Specifications
Wheelbase: 103.7 in.
Length: 180.0 in.
Height: 58.7 in.
Width: 69.4 in.
Curb weight range: 2,922 lbs. (DE w/ 5-speed) to 3,109 lbs. (GTS w/ CVT)

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing and research and development operations of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, a mid-size pickup truck and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 520 dealers.

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