The latest expression of Mitsubishi Motors' recovery from its DaimlerChrysler addiction is the 2008 Lancer. With the company's net income "in the black" and positive response to new products in Japan, Mitsubishi appears poised to regain some of the prestige its products enjoyed in the '90s.
Mitsu officials praised the synergy between other companies in the huge Mitsubishi family for its current momentum. To demonstrate there is no sibling rivalry within the brand, the new Lancer shared the stage today at the Detroit Auto Show introduction with a concept of its high-performance big brother, the Lancer Evo, and the original Lancer rally car from the '70s.
Acknowledging that American sales of the new Lancer are critical to its continued rebound, Mitsubishi developed an all-new 2.0-liter engine rated at 152 horsepower and will offer an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) in place of an automatic tranny. A 6-step Sportronic feature that allows "manual" shifts with a steering wheel paddle will be included in the sporty GTS trim level. The 2008 Lancer will also be the first vehicle sold in the U.S. to follow the new EPA mileage estimating tests.
Follow the jump for Mitsubishi's complete press release on the new Lancer, and click here to 78 pics in our gallery of high-resolution images.
For our comprehensive listing of everything from Detroit, click here.
The Lancer's design is a reflection of new Mitsubishi styling cues first seen on the 2007 Outlander as well as the Concept X car first seen in 2005. There's a distinctive European flair with the narrow headlamps and "shark nose" grille. The overall size is longer and wider than the previous generation, opening up more interior room and contributing to better handling.
The 2008 Lancer comes in three trim levels: DE, ES and GTS. The ES will be distinguished by color-keyed door handles and chrome grille surround. The GTS will show off 18-inch wheels, front and side air dams and a rear spoiler.
One of the more distinctive features is the techno-art taillamp cluster that simulates LED lighting and complements the "chopped off" appearance of the tail section. The Lancer also gets a new selection of colors and crisper interior design.
Mitsubishi's commitment to performance is evident throughout the Lancer family. The new C-segment platform, also first seen on the Outlander, features a stiffer chassis, MacPherson strut front suspension and a new trailing-arm, multi-link setup in the rear.
The Lancer also comes with Mitsu's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year/60,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Mitsubishi Introduces All-New 2008 Lancer Compact Sport Sedan
January 8, 2007 -- Cypress, Calif. --
Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) has introduced 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 all-new Mitsubishi Outlander SUV and will underpin the next-generation high-performance Lancer Evolution model. Lancer's comprehensive safety package provides seven standard air bags, including the first driver's knee air bag in a Mitsubishi model.
The new-generation Lancer's standard new 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine is among the most powerful standard engines in its segment, with 152 hp at 6,000 rpm (Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions) and 146 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,250 rpm. (For California, Lancer is PZEV-certified and offers 143 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 143 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,250 rpm.)
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is available in three levels of trim and driving dynamics: DE, ES and the sport-tuned GTS. The Lancer ES model projects a refined appearance with 5-spoke 16-in. alloy wheels, color-keyed door handles and mirrors and a chrome grille surround. The GTS's styling is even more aggressive than on other Lancer models, with 10-spoke 18-in. alloy wheels, front and side air dams, standard fog lights, a rear spoiler and a chrome tailpipe tip.
First Mitsubishi in North America with a CVT
All Lancer models come with a standard crisp-shifting 5-speed manual transmission. The new-generation Lancer is the first Mitsubishi in North America to offer an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) in place of a conventional automatic transmission. When equipped with the CVT, the Lancer GTS exclusively features a 6-step Sportronic(R) mode that allows the driver to manually control transmission operation using magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters - a first in the segment.
In contrast to a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT operates on a pulley system that allows an infinite variability between highest and lowest available ratios with no discrete steps or shifts. A CVT smoothly adapts to changing vehicle speeds, allowing the engine speed to remain at its level of peak efficiency, helping to improve both fuel economy and exhaust emissions.
International Driving Character
The new Lancer is built on a longer wheelbase and wider track - but with a slightly shorter overall length than the previous model. A 2.3-inch increase in both the front and rear track dimensions - now 60.2 in. - sets the stage for the new Lancer's solid, stable handling capability. Wheelbase was lengthened to 103.7 in. from 102.3 in, and overall width is increased from 66.7 in to 69.4 in. Overall length, however, has been reduced by 0.6-in., giving the new Lancer a more road-hugging attitude that is especially evident with the GTS model's 18-in. wheels.
Lancer's highly rigid unibody body structure, which makes extensive use of high-strength steel, allows for sport-oriented suspension tuning while also providing a smooth, compliant ride. Compared to the previous-generation Lancer, torsional rigidity has been increased by 56 percent, and bending rigidity is up by 50 percent - increases that exceed body stiffness measurements of even the previous Lancer Evolution IX.
Mitsubishi refined the new Lancer's suspension calibration to deliver an international driving character more commonly found in expensive European sport sedans. Front suspension employs strut tower bars that enhance lateral rigidity for precise steering response. The Lancer's sophisticated new multi-link rear suspension is a major factor in providing ride and handling characteristics that might be expected from a more expensive vehicle. Using separate coil springs and shock absorbers helps maximize trunk room. Lancer DE and ES models feature standard 16-in. wheels (steel on DE, alloy on ES) with 205/60 R16 tires.
The 2008 Lancer GTS - with the standard 5-speed manual transmission or the optional CVT - combines a sport-tuned suspension - including different stabilizer bars and spring/shock damping rates - with 18-inch wheels and 215/45 R18 tires to make this model an aggressive twisty-road tamer. The GTS's brakes are the same as used on the larger, heavier Outlander SUV, featuring 11.6-in. (294 mm) vented discs in front and 11.9-in. (302 mm) solid discs in rear.
Comprehensive Safety Package
The 2008 Lancer is built around Mitsubishi's next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) unibody design. The RISE body structure disperses energy loads during side and rear crashes and controls distortion, enhancing occupant protection and also helping to protect the fuel system during a rear impact.
The 2008 Lancer's safety package is one of the most comprehensive in the segment and includes an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, standard front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags, plus a driver's knee air bag. The Lancer ES and GTS models include as standard an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), which is available as an option for the DE model. All Lancer models feature a tire pressure monitoring system.
As with the exterior, the Lancer's interior is characterized by clean and crisp surfaces, free of gimmicks and using high-quality materials and marked by careful attention to detail. Each trim line is distinguished by its own distinct seating materials and interior trim. The overall instrument panel shape and design contribute to a more spacious interior feeling than seen in some competitors. The roomy feeling is no illusion, as the Lancer provides 94.8 cu. ft. of passenger space (93.3 with the optional sunroof).
Precision-designed detailing on all controls lends a "high-touch," high-tech feel. The short-stroke switches also impart a feeling of quality and solidity, and audio switches are finished in piano black for an upscale appearance. Metallic-like trim highlights the shifter bezel, and also the steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls switches in the ES and GTS models.
Premium In-Car Technology
All Lancer models for 2008 come pre-wired for accessory SIRIUS(R) Satellite Radio. This in-demand feature is also included in the optional Sun and Sound Package that is available for the ES and GTS models, where it is combined with a power glass sunroof, SIRIUS(R) Satellite Radio with 6 month pre-paid subscription and a 650-watt (max.), Rockford-Fosgate(R) Premium Audio system - the most powerful factory-installed audio system in the segment.
Similar to the option offered for the new-generation 2007 Outlander SUV, the audiophile-quality Rockford-Fosgate system has been custom-tuned for the Lancer's interior acoustics to reproduce all types of music with remarkable clarity and power. The system includes a 6-CD in-dash head unit with MP3 playback capability and features an audio input jack to connect an iPod(R) or similar media player. The Lancer's Rockford-Fosgate system plays through nine speakers in seven positions, including a trunk-mounted subwoofer.
The sport-tuned GTS is also the technology leader of the Lancer line, featuring a standard with a Bluetooth(R) wireless technology cell phone interface system with voice recognition microphone for hands-free calling (available for the ES model). The GTS model is exclusively available with the optional Navigation and Technology Package, which combines a 30-gigabyte hard drive navigation system with digital music server function, the Mitsubishi Multi-Communication System and the FAST Key (Freehand Advanced Security Transmitter) entry system. FAST Key allows the driver to unlock the vehicle simply by having the remote in a pocket or purse and grasping the handle on either of the front doors or the trunk.
Lancer: The Intelligent Choice
Mitsubishi designed the new-generation Lancer with a focus on reduced operating costs and increased reliability and durability. For example, replaceable crush boxes used on the front side members can help reduce the repair costs for a light collision. Using a timing chain instead of a belt - as many engines in the segment use - allows for a more compact design, helps ensure reliability and eliminates the need for belt replacement. Iridium-tip spark plugs contribute to lower emissions and help extend major service intervals.
Finally, Lancer customers benefit from the peace of mind of having one of the industry's longest warranties. Mitsubishi cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are backed by comprehensive new vehicle limited warranties. Mitsubishi cars and sport utility vehicles come with a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty, along with a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper new vehicle limited warranty. Mitsubishi pickup trucks are covered by a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper new vehicle limited warranty that also includes powertrain components. All Mitsubishi vehicles have a 7-year /100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty, along with 5-years/unlimited miles Roadside Assistance, which includes free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi retailer.
Technical data, features, options and other equipment listed in this release are based on the latest information available at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice.
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.