The Detroit Auto Show doesn't open to the public for another month, but Mitsubishi released the first official photo today of the new 2008 Lancer. The styling looks very much like a slightly toned down version of the 2005 Concept-X that's been on the auto show circuit for the past year. The proportions of the new Lancer definitely look better balanced than the base versions of the previous model which always seemed a bit top heavy and under-tired. The bulging fenders of the previous generation EVO addressed much of that, but even the version shown of the new car is attractive.

The new Lancer is, as usual larger than it's predecessor, with a wheel base and body about 1.5 inches longer, and a width increased by 2.5 inches. The power-train consists of a new 2.0L low emission four cylinder engine with variable valve timing. The engine is connected to a 6 speed CVT that will have steering wheel mounted paddle shifters on some models. The press release and a photo of the Concept-X are after the jump.

[Source: Mitsubishi]
Tokyo, December 11, 2006 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA, based in Cypress California) will give the new North American market specification Mitsubishi Lancer compact sport sedan its global premiere at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Motor Show). The 2007 NAIAS runs from January 7 to 21 at the Cobo Center in Detroit and opens to the general public on January 13.

The new North American market Lancer uses a larger body than the current model, with an overall length of 4570 mm (35 mm longer), overall width of 1760 mm (65 mm wider), overall height of 1490 mm (60 mm taller) and wheelbase of 2635 mm (35 mm longer). The design uses elements from the Mitsubishi Concept-X shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show to create a handsome, purposeful-looking shape and a confident, stable stance.

The new Lancer rides on the same next-generation platform employed by the company's Outlander on-road SUV for outstanding crash safety and rigidity. The powertrain mates a new high output (152 hp) low emission 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC*1 engine to a 6-speed SportronicR CVT*2 transmission. This is the first Mitsubishi vehicle destined for the North American market to offer a CVT. Some trim levels are offered with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that allow the driver to shift gears manually without taking his hand off the wheel. Delivering outstanding economy and environmental performance, the driveline is complemented by an equipment and appointments specification that elevates driving enjoyment to a new level in a total package that satisfies all the requirements for a next-generation sport sedan.

*1 MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control)
*2 CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission)

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